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1756 Bellin Map of Kollam Fort, Kerala, India

Plan de la Forteresse de Coylan. - Main View

1756 Bellin Map of Kollam Fort, Kerala, India



Plan de la Forteresse de Coylan.
  1756 (undated)     7.5 x 11 in (19.05 x 27.94 cm)


This is a rare 1756 map of the fort of Kollam, Kerala, on India's Malabar Coast by French cartographer N. Bellin. Kollam, or as it is otherwise Known Quilon or Coylan, lies roughly 71 km north of Trivandrum, India. Kollam Fort was originally built by the Portugese, however, it was captured by the Dutch in 1671 and by the British in 1795. This map presents beautiful image of the fort completely with palm forests and sailing ships navigating the surrounding seals. Prepared by N. Bellin for issue in the 1757 edition of A. Provost's < i>L`Histoire Generale des Voyages.


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. More by this mapmaker...


Provost, A., L`Histoire Generale des Voyages, 1756.    


Very good condition. Minor creasing on original fold line. A couple of minor fox marks. Blank on verso. Original platemark visible.