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1765 Bellin Sea Chart of Western Africa ( Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, etc.)

Carte Reduite Des Costes Occidentales D’Afrique. - Main View

1765 Bellin Sea Chart of Western Africa ( Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, etc.)



Carte Reduite Des Costes Occidentales D’Afrique.
  1765 (dated)     22 x 35 in (55.88 x 88.9 cm)


This large nautical chart of Western African was produced by the French Cartographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin. Depicts Western Africa from The Canary Islands South through Western Sahara, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, the Gambia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. This is primarily a costal chart with depth soundings and navigational marks, but does show the river courses and considerable interior details in the Cape Verde Islands. The remainder of the interior remains largely unmapped. There is a large decorative title cartouche in the upper left as well as a Depot del la Marine stamp in the lower right. All in all, an extraordinary sea chart of Africa's northwest coast.


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...


Fine or perfect condition. Original platemark visible. Wide clean margins. Blank on verso.