Plan de la baye de St. Yago dans l'isle de Cube. - #2202

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DATE: 1764

MAP MAKER: Jacques Nicolas Bellin

SIZE: 6 5/16" X 8 3/8'.

PRICE: $250.00


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).

Plan de la baye de St. Yago dans l'isle de Cube.

This very detailed map of Santiago de Cuba (6 5/16" X 8 3/8") was engraved for the 1764 edition of the "Petit atlas Maritime".
It shows fascinating details about the anchorage and its defenses. Depths are shown in fathoms (brasses d'eau), a underwater reef is indicated at the entrance of the bay, and an islet where vessels are careened is marked next to the jetty. Forts and gun emplacements are also clearly identified, in particular the massive San Pedro de la Roca defending the approach to the harbor. At the very top, a small river is said to be the source of fresh water for the passing ships.
Even though long established (founded in 1514, and serving as capital of the Island between 1522 and 1589), the town itself is quite small, having lost much of its importance to La Havana.
No text on verso.




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