Plan De Bombay et de Ses Environs, Tire de Thornton Hyd. Ang.
c. 1750 (undated) 8 x 10.5 in (20.32 x 26.67 cm)
This beautifully hand colored, copper-plate engraved, 1752 map of Bombay (Mumbai), captures the town that was becoming the east India Company's base of operations in India, replacing Surat to the north in light of hostilities there. Bombay was under lease to the east India Company from the British Crown, who had acquired the island from Portugal as part of the marriage agreement between Charles II and Princess Catherine of Braganza. With easy access to the Persian Gulf - Indian Ocean trade route, Bombay quickly became a busy harbor town and important center for British commerce. Drawn by Jacques Nicolas Bellin and published as plate no. 3 in volume 9 of the 1752 French edition of Abbe Provost's L'Histoire Generale des Voyages.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 - 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.
Provost, A., L`Histoire Generale des Voyages, Vol. IX, plate 1.
Very good. Original fold lines. Blank on verso. Some water damage.