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Description

Attractive map of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France. The map shows the 18th-century layout of the city, with an older elevated part of the city and a younger coastal part. An index in the lower left of the map shows the location of the most important buildings in the town. On the hill, denoted with the letter B, is the Cathedral which possesses the town's famous bell tower.

Boulogne-sur-Mer was always an important naval port due to its proximity to the British Isles and was a center of conflict during the Middle Ages, the Napoleonic Wars, and the World Wars. The city would see notable growth and investment during the 18th and 19th centuries when conflict between France and England was at its highest.

The map appeared in Jacques Nicolas Bellin's Le Petit Atlas Maritime Recueti de Cartes et Plans des Quatre Parlies du Monde en Cinq Volumes, first published in Paris in 1764. The Atlas was an important 5 volume work, showing many places of interest around the world.

Condition Description
Original hand-color.
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.