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1764 Bellin Map of the Virgin Islands

Carte des Isles des Vierges. - Main View

1764 Bellin Map of the Virgin Islands


Wonderful map of the Virgin Islands.


Carte des Isles des Vierges.
  1764 (undated)     8.25 x 10 in (20.955 x 25.4 cm)     1 : 615000


This is a finely engraved 1764 Jacques-Nicolas Bellin map of the Virgin Islands. Coverage embraces by the modern-day U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. including St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada. Beautifully detailed, topographical and coastal features appear, along with forts, mountains, anchorages, and navigation channels. A striking decorative title cartouche occupies the lower right.
Publication History and Census
This map was published in 1764 by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin for inclusion in his Le Petit Atlas Maritime. Five examples of the separate map are cataloged in OCLC and are part of the collections at the Library of Congress, Villanova University, the University of Michigan, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Scarce to the market.


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...


Bellin, J. N., Le Petit Atlas Maritime, (Paris) 1764.    


Very good. Original platemark visible.


Phillips (Atlases) 3508. OCLC 5415941, 214326501, 876672459.