L'Isle Formose et partie des costes de la Chine... - #2225

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DATE: 1749

MAP MAKER: Jacques Nicolas Bellin.

SIZE: 11 1/16" X 9 1/16".

PRICE: $700.00


Jacques Nicolas Bellin; 1703-1772.

A first rank cartographer, Bellin worked for some fifty years at the French hydrographic service (Dépôt de la Marine); which he ran till his death.
In this position he had unequal access to prime cartographic data, often used to further his own private business interests. He was succeeded at the head of the service by the very talented, and no less prolific, Rigobert Bonne.
His career was mainly devoted to charting and mapping coast lines, harbors, sea lanes. Most of his publications were related to nautical matters: maps for "Histoire générale des Voyages"* between 1747 and his death, "Atlas Maritime" in 1751, "Neptune François" in 1753, "Petit Atlas Maritime" in 1764,. for the benefit of the French Navy, merchantmen, and the public at large.
He is known to have used informations from the best fellow cartographers of his time, to complement the in-land parts of his maps, notably: Guillaume de l'Isle and Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, often giving them credit.
Fame, enormous output and fastidious quality of work, earned him the appointment of "hydrographer to the king" by Louis XV of France. He was also a member of the Royal Society in London.

* A major work published by Antoine François Prévost d'Exile. The first edition in 1747 was already of an encyclopedic size. A major remodeling was done in the mid fifties, incorporating some two hundred new maps (quite a few drawn by Bellin). Later editions, till 1789, incorporated verbatim other authors travel writings (e.g.: Gmelin's "Voyage au Kamchatka par la Sibérie" was incorporated in volume 25 in 1779).


L'Isle Formose et partie des costes de la Chine...

This small map (11 1/16' X 9 1/16') was prepared for the 1747 "Histoire generale des voyages".
The present item has been printed for the rare 1749 dutch edition.
In this second state, the rococo style cartouche is very ornate (while the first state bears a bland box), the content of the cartouche is translated in dutch under the bottom neat line, and most of the place names are designated both in french and dutch.
A third state was later developed for the 1765 "Hydrographie Françoise".
On the west coast the dutch fort "Zelandia", and on the north tip the Spanish fort "Kelang" are both described as in ruins.
Notice how the west coast in covered with little settlements, while the inland and the east coast are both shown as "little known". The chinese mainland coast also seems heavily populated.
Longitudes are given east of the westernmost Canary island (Ferro).
No text on verso.






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