Attractive view of the town and harbor of Surate on the northwest coast of India, and a bird's-eye city plan of Batavia (Jakarta) present-day capital of Indonesia, from Chatelain's monumental 7 volume Atlas Historique, published in Amsterdam.
Surate was the first English trading post in India and was known as a gold and textile center. Batavia was the capital of the Dutch East Indian trading empire during the period when the Dutch dominated trade from the famous Spice Islands.
Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684-1743) was a Huguenot pastor of Parisian origins. Chatelain proved a successful businessman, creating lucrative networks in London, The Hague, and then Amsterdam. He is most well known for the Atlas Historique, published in seven volumes between 1705 and 1720. This encyclopedic work was devoted to the history and genealogy of the continents, discussing such topics as geography, cosmography, topography, heraldry, and ethnography. Published thanks to a partnership between Henri, his father, Zacharie, and his younger brother, also Zacharie, the text was contributed to by Nicolas Gueudeville, a French geographer. The maps were by Henri, largely after the work of Guillaume Delisle, and they offered the general reader a window into the emerging world of the eighteenth century.