A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island
Pictorial Map by Fred H. Gardner, 1933
A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island
A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island
A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island
A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island
Fred H. Gardner
A Decorative Map of Nantucket Island
American: 1933
Print with original hand color
Signed and dated in the print matrix lower right: "©Fred H. Gardner '33"
12.75 x 17.5 inches, border
19 x 24 inches, overall

Map of Nantucket Island, decorated with small illustrations of historic buildings with their dates of construction, farms, trees and animals. The map has simple cartography, showing villages, ponds, major roads and beaches. The design incorporates references to the island’s heritage as a fishing port, with pictures of two clipper ships and a whale in the ocean, along with personifications of wind in the upper two corners and an unusual cartouche design in the upper left featuring two fishermen. One fisherman holds a lamp, the other a harpoon, resting their hands on either side of a barrel that has the map title and the information, "Size 14 x 3 1/2 Miles. Discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold 1609. 28 Miles at Sea." There is a 16-pointed compass rose with rhumb lines in the lower right and a border of alternating stripes surrounded by a ruled border. The map has meticulous, rich original hand color. Of particular note is the interesting Art Deco pattern of irregular shapes in the blue ocean achieved by leaving some spots unpainted.

The maker was likely the Fred H. Gardner who collected art and artifacts related to Nantucket history and had a long association with the Nantucket Historical Association. Gardner was descended from a family that settled on the island in the 17th century. He designed and produced The History Of Nantucket Island, A Bibliography Of Source Material With Index and Inventory (compiled by Marie Coffin, 1970) and designed and created a booklet titled Lifeline to the Islands, Sketches and Memories of Steamers Past and Present on the Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket Run (1977). In 1997, when part of Gardner's estate was being sold at auction, Michael Jehle, director of the Nantucket Historical Association, provided this tribute: "A descendant of islanders who carried with him a deep pride and love of the island’s history, an astute collector, and generous donor. Fred was a dear friend of generations of Nantucket Historical Association curators…. One of Fred Gardner’s greatest gifts to Nantucket was the remarkable collection of scrimshaw, whaling art, and documents he donated to the Nantucket Historical Association. Over his lifetime, Fred collected a vast array of artifacts from Nantucket’s whaling past and his desire to share his love for their stories was one of his most endearing qualities."

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear. Original colors bright and vibrant. Some rippling of paper, unobtrusive. Minor dampstain and discoloration in margins, can be matted out. The print was purchased in its original frame (no longer present) suggesting that the hand color is original, as does the style and technique of the coloring.


"Americana, Continental, Fine Art, Folk Art, and Marine Auction." 2008. Rafael E. Osona, Auctioneer & Appraiser. http://www.graciouslady.com/2008/aug2/cat1-10.pdf (29 August 2013).

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