This item has been sold, but you can get on the Waitlist to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1749 Bellin Map of Sumatra, Malay, and Singapore

Carte de L'Isle de Sumatra. - Main View

1749 Bellin Map of Sumatra, Malay, and Singapore


Unusually detailed mapping of the Straits of Malaca.


Carte de L'Isle de Sumatra.
  1749 (undated)     10 x 12 in (25.4 x 30.48 cm)


This is J. N. Bellin's 1749 map of Sumatra and the southern portion of the Malay Peninsula. This is an unusually detailed map of the area, showing many coastal features, shoals, banks and small islands. The Straits of Malacca and the Detroit de Sincapour and finely detailed. Singapore Island is not specifically named, but it is shown, and several other lesser islands are named including Tioman Island, Banca, and Penang, plus many off the west coast of Sumatra. The cities of Palembang, Jambi, Manimcabo, Aceh and Batang are located, but not Medan is curiously not identified. A legend lower right gives the local terms for rivers, capes and islands as well as advises that the interior of this region is largely unknown. At lower right below neatline is 'Tome IX. No. 6,' identifying this map as coming from the ninth volume of Abbe Provosts, 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, vol 9 (Paris) 1749.    


Very good condition. On thin paper. Original fold lines.