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Indian Ocean, by Jacques Nicolas Bellin. 1756

First state of Bellin's important chart of the Indian Ocean, the most accurate chart of the Indian Ocean of the 18th century. It covers the area from Eastern Africa with Madagascar, Arabia, India, South East Asia and the Spice Islands to Western Australia.
There was considerable French interest in the Indian Ocean: from 1735 there were French efforts to completely colonise Mauritius, La Réunion and and the Seychelles. Two years after the map was published the Compagnie Perpétuelle des Indes would make a bid for greater control in India. Madagascar was of interest as a centre of piracy.


Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772)

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, a French geographer, was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at the age of 18, he was appointed hydrographer of the Ministry of the Navy following the French hydrographic office's creation and the Dépot of charts and plans of the Navy. Appointed hydrographic engineer in August 1741. Member of the Academy of the Navy and the Royal Society of London.

Over the course of a 50-year career, he drew the maps of several major works of his time such as Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle-France de Charlevoix (1744); Histoire générale des voyages de l'Abbé Prévost (published between 1746 and 1759) ); Neptune François (1753), Hydrographie Françoise (1756-1765), and Petit Atlas Français (1763) - reissued as Petit Atlas Maritime (1765). He is the most copied cartographer of the 18th century.

His maps of Canada and the French territories of North America are of considerable value. This is all the more remarkable since, an archetype of the cabinet cartographer, Bellin never came to America. For his cartography of the St. Lawrence River, he entrusted handwritten maps to navigators to correct and enrich. With each return of these maps, he was updating his knowledge. Two basic needs drive its cartography of North America: to secure navigation on the St. Lawrence River and to claim for France the lands explored by the French in the Great Lakes region and along the Mississippi River.

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin died on March 21, 1772, in Versailles. In the burial certificate, he is described as "the first engineer of the navy and the deposit of plans, royal censor of the academy of navy and the royal society of London".

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Carte Reduite de l'Ocean-Oriental ou Mers des Indes : Contenant Les Costes d'Afrique, depuis le Cap de Bonne Esp.ce. Jusqu'a la Mer Rouge, et celles d'Asie, depuis la Mer Rouge, jusqu'a Canton en Chine : Avec les Isles de Madagascar, Bourbon, et de France, les Maldives, I. Ceylan, Sumatra, Java &c.

€1000  ($1170 / £850)
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Item Number:  28006
Category:  Antique maps > Oceans
References: Norwich O.I. - #280 (2nd ed.); Clancy - p. 35 (2nd ed.); Tooley (Australia) - #155 (2nd ed)

Old, antique sea chart of , by Bellin J.N..

Title: Carte Reduite de l'Ocean-Oriental ou Mers des Indes : Contenant Les Costes d'Afrique, depuis le Cap de Bonne Esp.ce. Jusqu'a la Mer Rouge, et celles d'Asie, depuis la Mer Rouge, jusqu'a Canton en Chine : Avec les Isles de Madagascar, Bourbon, et de France, les Maldives, I. Ceylan, Sumatra, Java &c.
Pour servir aux Vaisseaux du Roi.
Dressée au Depost des Cartes Plans et Journeaux de la Marine.
Par ordre de M.gr Le Comte de Maurepas.
1740.

Engraver: Guillaume Dheulland.

Date of the first edition: 1740.
Date of this map: c. 1756.
Date on map: 1740.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 610 x 790mm (24.02 x 31.1 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: Small area of mildew removed on back.
Condition Rating: A
References: Norwich, #280 (2nd ed.); Clancy, p. 35 (2nd ed.); Tooley (Australia), #155 (2nd ed)

From: L'Hydrographie Françoise ou Recueil des Cartes Dressées au Deposit des Plans de la Marine pour le Service des Vaisseaux du Roy. Paris, 1756.

First state of Bellin's important chart of the Indian Ocean, the most accurate chart of the Indian Ocean of the 18th century. It covers the area from Eastern Africa with Madagascar, Arabia, India, South East Asia and the Spice Islands to Western Australia.
There was considerable French interest in the Indian Ocean: from 1735 there were French efforts to completely colonise Mauritius, La Réunion and and the Seychelles. Two years after the map was published the Compagnie Perpétuelle des Indes would make a bid for greater control in India. Madagascar was of interest as a centre of piracy.


Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772)

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, a French geographer, was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at the age of 18, he was appointed hydrographer of the Ministry of the Navy following the French hydrographic office's creation and the Dépot of charts and plans of the Navy. Appointed hydrographic engineer in August 1741. Member of the Academy of the Navy and the Royal Society of London.

Over the course of a 50-year career, he drew the maps of several major works of his time such as Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle-France de Charlevoix (1744); Histoire générale des voyages de l'Abbé Prévost (published between 1746 and 1759) ); Neptune François (1753), Hydrographie Françoise (1756-1765), and Petit Atlas Français (1763) - reissued as Petit Atlas Maritime (1765). He is the most copied cartographer of the 18th century.

His maps of Canada and the French territories of North America are of considerable value. This is all the more remarkable since, an archetype of the cabinet cartographer, Bellin never came to America. For his cartography of the St. Lawrence River, he entrusted handwritten maps to navigators to correct and enrich. With each return of these maps, he was updating his knowledge. Two basic needs drive its cartography of North America: to secure navigation on the St. Lawrence River and to claim for France the lands explored by the French in the Great Lakes region and along the Mississippi River.

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin died on March 21, 1772, in Versailles. In the burial certificate, he is described as "the first engineer of the navy and the deposit of plans, royal censor of the academy of navy and the royal society of London".