A beautifully detailed and engraved c. 1750 plan of the city of Louvo (Lopburi), the 'ordinary abode' of the kings of Siam (Thailand) on the Menam (Chao Phraya) River. An ancient center, LopBuri is described in Book III of Marco Polo's Travels, where it is called Locach. Later, in the 17th century, the securely fortified city, located just north of Ayutthaya, was established as a dry season capital of Siam. Though ostensibly dated 1750, Bellin's plan actually reflects the state of Lopburi during the reign of King Narai (1656-1688). The King of Siam frequently used the palace to host foreign dignitaries - as evidenced by the notation of various embassies including French, Persian, Jesuit, and Portuguese residences.
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 - 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.
Provost, A., L`Histoire Generale des Voyages, Vol. IX, plate 3.
Very good. Original fold lines. Blank on verso.