1750 Bellin Map of the East Indies (Sumatra, Malay, Java, Borneo)
Carte des Isles de Java, Sumatra, Borneo & les détroits de la Sonde Malaca et Banca Golphe de Siam.
1750 (undated) 10 x 12 in (25.4 x 30.48 cm)
1 : 11000000
This is an attractive c.1757 map of the East Indies by Bellin. The map covers from Siam or modern day Vietnam south to include the western portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Depicts the islands of Malay (Malacca), Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and part of Celebes (Sulawesi). There is impressive detail throughout the coastline, with little inland information. Singapore remains unidentified, but several other lesser islands are noted including Tioman Island (Poulo ou I. Timon) and Penang. A beautifully engraved title cartouche adorns the lower left of the map. This map was issued in Antoine-Francois Prevost's Historie General 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, 1747-1767. 21 vols.
Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Minor spotting. Top margin extended.