Madagascar -- Pirate Haven
Fine old color example of Mortier's large sea of Madagascar, published in Amsterdam by Pierre Mortier.
Fine large format chart of Madagascar, orientated with north to the left, appears in Pierre Mortier's sea-atlas, 'Le Neptune François'.
The map locates Antongil Bay and Nosy Boraha (Île Sainte-Marie) on the northeast coastline. At the time both were havens for European pirates preying on the East India trade and Mughal treasure ships. William Kidd, Henry Every, John Bowen and Thomas Tew were then operating along the coast of Madgascar, during the so-called golden age of piracy.
Pierre, or Pieter, Mortier (1661-1711) was a Dutch engraver, son of a French refugee. He was born in Leiden. In 1690 he was granted a privilege to publish French maps in Dutch lands. In 1693 he released the first and accompanying volume of the Neptune Francois. The third followed in 1700. His son, Cornelis (1699-1783), would partner with Johannes Covens I, creating one of the most important map publishing companies of the eighteenth century.