This is a rare and attractive 1865 J. N. Bellin nautical chart or map of West Africa. Depicts the African coast from Sierra Leone south past the Bay of Benin and the Gulf of Guinea to Cape Lopez. This roughly consists of the modern day nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Offers superb costal detail with most major ports, and rivers listed. Depth soundings dot the coast and rumb-lines fill the sea. To the left and right of the decorative central title cartouche there are eight coastal views. Prepared by Jacques Nicholas Bellin for issue in 1865 by the French Depot de la Marine.
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.
Very good condition. Hand color. Platemark visible. Wide clean margins. Original centerfold. Blank on verso.
Phillips (Atlases) #587.