Johan Georg Blankensteiner Chart, Ostersoens Nördlice Deel.
JOHAN GEORG BLANKENSTEINER
Published 1871, Denmark
Size: 39.5" X 51"
Condition: Very Good. Overall toning. Minor marginal staining. Backed on blue paper.
A very rare nautical chart of the Baltic Sea and the entrance to the Gulf of Finland near Stockholm, Sweden. The Gulf of Finland was, and remains, an important strategic artery for trade and defence for Russian, Finnish and Estonian interests that now include major oil harbours. The publication of this chart in 1871 would have been of keen interest to navigators entering the Gulf of Finland, but also to those sailing to Stockholm which as at the beginning of its modernization from a rural society to that of an industrialized one.
The chart also includes seven insets of different harbours that include those of Norrköping, Riga, the fortress city of Dünamünde, and of the entrances to Stockholm.
Other than the ubiquitous depth soundings and rhumb lines, the chart also includes multiple drawings of important lighthouses to be found along the area depicted with notations describing their locations.
As with most navigational charts, it should be noted that they are ,in general, rare because the nature of the wear and tear associated with working nautical documents. However, when they do survive the vagaries of time, they often offer an interesting view into the past where nautical information was still a work in progress.
However, it should pointed out that unlike the British admiralty charts, which began to be sold to the public in 1821 by the Hydrographic Office of the Admiralty, which had a reputation for greater accuracy, the privately sold charts, such as this one, were the preferred choice of the important and growing merchant fleet of different countries. It has been argued that the continued demand for these charts by the different merchant fleets resulted, in large part, because of their focus on specific and well travelled routes, as opposed to the a Navy’s need for greater accuracy in more distant and obscure shores. Furthermore, the heavier inks applied, and the use of the Mercator’s projection with the occasional rhumb line, made for an easier nautical reading by a less demanding merchant fleet for accuracy, but well entrenched in their historical ways and preferences.
The chart was published at in Denmark by Johan Georg Blankensteiner, a renown Danish publisher of nautical charts, instrument maker and nautical supplier located in Copenhagen, Denmark,
This map is extremely rare and we have been unable to identify any examples in any collection, public or private. The chart is owned jointly by Geographicus and Vetus Carta Maps.