This hand colored map is a c. 1763 map of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town, South Africa. Attributed to French cartographer Jacques-Nicholas Bellin, this map was issued for the French edition of Provost's Histoire des Voyages…. Beautifully rendered mountains and villages show the area in considerable detail. Shows the 'Village of the Hottentots,' Blue Mountain, Cow Mountain, Table Mountain, The City of Cape Town itself, Tigerbergen, and many other features. Some oceanic depths are indicated. Of interest is also the Isle of Robben, located centrally on the map. Long a place of exile and punishment, this island prison had a reputation for brutality and cruelty. Today a museum honors the site of so much suffering.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 - March 21, 1772) was one of the most important cartographers of the 18th century. With a career spanning some 50 years, Bellin is best understood as geographe de cabinet and transitional mapmaker spanning the gap between 18th and early-19th century cartographic styles. His long career as Hydrographer and Ingénieur Hydrographe at the French Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine resulted in hundreds of high quality nautical charts of practically everywhere in the world. A true child of the Enlightenment Era, Bellin's work focuses on function and accuracy tending in the process to be less decorative than the earlier 17th and 18th century cartographic work. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bellin was always careful to cite his references and his scholarly corpus consists of over 1400 articles on geography prepared for Diderot's Encyclopedie. Bellin, despite his extraordinary success, may not have enjoyed his work, which is described as "long, unpleasant, and hard." In addition to numerous maps and charts published during his lifetime, many of Bellin's maps were updated (or not) and published posthumously. He was succeeded as Ingénieur Hydrographe by his student, also a prolific and influential cartographer, Rigobert Bonne.
Fine or perfect condition. Original platemark visible. Wide clean margins. Blank on verso.