Fine atlas bound in full red morocco for the Minister of Marine of France.
In folio (637mm x 480 mm). Engraved title + inset manuscript table of contents within engraved border + 22 double-page engraved maps. Contemporary red morocco gilt, double-fillet, and roll-tooled borders, central coat-of-arms of Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville on both sides (coat-of-arms on upper cover overlaid with red glazed paper, the other uncovered with some minor darkening along edges, some light rubbing and minor staining).
First edition. Fine collection of charts by Bellin bound in full red morocco for the French Minister of Marine, with his arms on boards. Jacques Nicolas Bellin was royal hydrographer and ingénieur géographe de la marine et du Dépot des Cartes et Plans, beginning in 1741. The maps are varied in the regions portrayed, including the World, two fine Ocean charts, the Pacific, a remarkable chart of the Philippines, Mexico, Africa, three charts of the Mediterranean, and others.
This copy is bound for Machault d'Arnouville who became Minister of Marine in 1754, after he had lost the support Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour as Controller of Finances. In 1757 he was disgraced and retired, possibly the reason for the overlay of the arms on the binding.
The maps with rhumb lines in black and 8 in bistre, with the coastlines colored by a contemporary hand.
The maps included in this atlas and listed on the manuscript table of contents are:
1- Parties connues du globe terrestre, 1748.
2- Mers du Nord, 1751, with rhumb lines in bistre.
3- L'Océan Occidental, 1742
4- L'Océan Méridional, 1739.
5- L'Océan Oriental ou Mer des Indes, 1740.
6- Mers du Sud ou Mer Pacifique, 1742.
7- Isles Philippines, 1752, with rhumb lines in bistre.
8- La Manche, 1749.
9- Golphe de Gascogne, 1750.
10- Costes d'Espagne et du Portugal, 1751, with rhumb lines in bistre.
11- Côtes Occidentales d'Afrique, Première feuille, 1753, with rhumb
lines in bistre.
12- Côtes Occidentales d'Afrique, Seconde feuille, 1753, with rhumb
lines in bistre.
13- Coste de Guinée, 1750.
14- Coste d'Or, 1750. Single page.
15- Costes Occidentales d'Afrique, 1754, with rhumb lines in bistre.
16- Golphe du Mexique et des Isles de l'Amérique, 1749.
17- L'Isle de Saint-Domingue, 1750, with rhumb lines in bistre.
18- Golphe de St-Laurent, 1753, with rhumb lines in bistre.
19-21 Mer Méditérranée, 1745. 3 sheets.
22- L'Archipel, 1738.
Another volume with Bellin maps bound for Machault d'Arnouville sold in the Wardington sale (Sotheby's London, 18 October, 2006, lot 38), with a note "This is probably one of the earliest collections of charts formed by Bellin after he had taken over the Marine Office and reprinted the Neptune François in 1753. The plates are by order of Monseigneur Le Comte de Maurepas, and his successor M. Rouillé, Chevalier Comte de Jouy, who in turn was succeeded by M. de Machault, around 1754, for whom this copy was bound" (Wardington Catalogue)."
Provenance: Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville (1701-1794), French statesman, Controller of Finances, Minister of Marine (arms on binding).
within engraved border + 22 double page engraved maps. Contemporary red morocco gilt, double-fillet and roll-tooled borders, central coat-of-arms of Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville on both sides (coat-of-arms on upper cover overlaid with red glazed paper, the other uncovered with some minor darkening along edges, some light rubbing and minor staining).
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at only the age of 18, he was appointed Hydrographer to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the French King.
During his term as Official Hydrographer, the Dépôt was the one of the most active centers for the production of sea charts and maps in Europe. Their output included a folio-format sea atlas of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea atlases of the world, including the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame and distinction all over Europe and were republished throughout the eighteenth and even in the nineteenth century.
Bellin also produced smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely-detailed charts. He also contributed a number of maps for the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost.
Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, cementing France's leading role in European cartography and geography during this period. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers across the continent.