The Bissagos Islands
Finely engraved chart of part of the Guinea Coast, hydrographer to the King of France.
The map shows soundings, safe anchorages, forts and sandbanks clearly marked.
From a Dutch edition of Bellin's Atlas.
In pre-European colonial times, the islands were central to the trade along the coast of West Africa and they built up a powerful navy. In 1535, this enabled them to rout the Portuguese, who later built a fort on Bissago, which was abandoned in 1703.
Jakob van der Schley was a skilled draftsman and engraver who operated out of Amsterdam and had strong ties with the Hague. He was trained by Bernard Picart and his style resembles that of the elder man. Van der Schely was known for intricately engraved portraits and frontispieces. He signed most of the plates used in the Hague edition of the Abbe Prevost's Histoire generale des voyages.