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Fine example of Bellin's map of Lousiana from the Petit Atlas Maritime.

The map should not be confused with the much more common Carte de La Louisiane et Pays Voisons issued in the Histoire Generale de Voyages 1757.

This later edition is much scarcer, extends further west and by far the better engraved and more desireable of the two. A side by side comparison will make this obvious.

Mavelous detail along the Mississippi Valley, including early French Forts, Indian Tribes and Villages and early exploration features.

The detail in Texas and along the Missouri River is also noteworthy. Issued shortly after the French and Indian War was concluded.  

Jacques Nicolas Bellin Biography

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at age 18, he was appointed hydrographer (chief cartographer) to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot 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 Depot was the single most active center for the production of sea charts and maps, including a large folio format sea-chart of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea-atlases of the world, e.g., the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame, distinction, and respect all over Europe and were republished throughout the 18th and even in the succeeding century.

Bellin also came out with smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely detailed charts. He also contributed many of the maps for Bellin and contributed a number of maps to the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost or simply known l'Abbe Prevost.

Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, thus gaining for France a leading role in European cartography and geography. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers of Europe.