[Singapore] China Sea - Singapore - Keppel Harbour


Commander Arthur Mostyn Field (1855 - 1950)

$A 7,500

In stock

S/N: HYDRO-2023-ASI-SINGA–231927

Full Title:

[Singapore] China Sea – Singapore – Keppel Harbour




Commander Arthur Mostyn Field (1855 - 1950)


Two very small repaired tears to sheet edge, otherwise in good condition, with folds as issued.


Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 670mm

Paper Size: 

x 675mm


Rare and important large scale hydrographic chart of Singapore’s Keppel Harbour, based on the original surveys made under the direction of Commander A Mostyn Field R N, September to October 1891 and resurveyed in 1913. The map extends from Keppel Harbour Singapore, to Brani Island and Sentosa. 

Keppel Harbour was named after Captain Henry Keppel who had a long association with Singapore until 1903. He had surveyed the new harbour of Singapore, which was formed on his plans and completed in 1886. The harbour was originally simply known as New Harbour but it was renamed Keppel Harbour by the Acting Governor, Sir James Alexander Swettenham, on 19 April 1900 when Admiral Keppel visited Singapore at the age of 92.

The Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, (1864–1905), the forerunner of today’s Port of Singapore Authority, was founded by Guthrie and Company and Tan Kim Ching. The company was expropriated by the Government in 1905 who replaced it with the Tanjong Pagar Dock Board. In 1907 works were carried for the extension of Tank Road-Kranji Railway between Keppel Harbour and the town centre, the Telok Ayer reclamation and the construction of the Offshore Mole, a granite-rubble breakwater, which created a second entrance to Singapore Harbour.

First issued in 1893 this chart like most Admiralty hydrographic charts has been updated or a new survey was made, in this case up to 1915. The regular updating of the charts was to enable Commanders of ships, pilots and other mariners to safely navigate foreign waters and ports as new information of changes to sea depths, sand bars, wrecks or other any other information that could hinder passage became available. As updated charts were offered for sale, the older outdated charts in the hands of mariners were invariably discarded, subsequently making all British Admiralty issued hydrographic charts of the period very rare.

Extensive information is included:

Shores uncovered at 2/3 ebb, swamps, jungles and scrubs, cultivated slopes and valleys, roads, rivers, reservoir, quarry, lunatic asylum, burial grounds, buildings, hill shading, islands, Meander Shoal, Palawan Reef, docks, coal sheds, Borneo Wharf, Jardine’s Wharf, P & O Company, New Harbour Dock Co, Docks No 1 and 2, place names, barracks and tin works on Pulo Brani, Hantu Island (Pulau Keppel), Mount Faber signal station, Mount Siloso (fort), Mount Imbeah, and Mount Serapong (fort) with summit heights in feet, St James, Belayer River, Chermin River, Bukit Chermin, Pasir Panjang Road, Alexandra Road, Keppel Road, Telok Blangah Road, and others.

Charts issued by the British Hydrographic Office were continually updated and as a consequence seafarers discarded earlier versions, making these charts, rare survivors. The Hydrographic Office first offered its chart for sale to the general public through a series of chart agents in 1821.


Admiral Sir Arthur Mostyn Field KCB FRS FRGS FRAS (1855-1950) 

He enlisted in 1868 as a cadet in the Royal Navy, where he joined the training ship HMS Britannia. After two years basic training he was appointed in succession to HMS Trafalgar and HMS Narcissus as a midshipman.

He was promoted lieutenant in 1875 and in the following year was posted to the newly converted survey ship, HMS Fawn, spending the next four years in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the east coast of Africa, followed by a survey mission to the Oil Rivers of West Africa. In 1882 he went in HMS Sylvia to survey the Straits of Magellan. He was promoted commander in 1889 and served from 1890 to 1894 on HMS Egeria around Borneo. He was made captain in 1895, and given command of HMS Penguin to survey islands in the south west Pacific (1896–99). 
He was appointed Hydrographer of the Navy in 1904 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1905 as a “distinguished hydrographic surveyor”. His application citation referred to “Marine Surveys in command of HM Ships from 1886 to 1904 in Australia, Pacific Islands, China Seas, and British Islands.” and said he had done much for the scientific explorations of the deep oceans. He was appointed rear admiral in 1906, vice admiral in 1910 and placed on the retired list later that year. He was made Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1911 Coronation Honours and advanced to the rank of admiral on the Retired List on 4 June 1913.
He wrote on surveying, expanding the textbook “Hydrographical Surveying” written by Admiral Sir William Wharton.  He died in Christchurch, Hampshire in 1950. 

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