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Separately Issued Example

Fine sea chart of the Gold Coast of Ghana, published by Nicolas Bellin.

Includes numerous European forts for the gold and slave trades, including Fort Fredericsbourg (Princes Town), Fort Holl. de Wredenbourg (Fort Vredenburgh), Cap Corse Fort Angl. (Cape Coast Castle), Petit Kormantin Fort Holl. (Fort Amsterdam), Winiba Fort Angl. (Fort Winneba), Barku Fort Holl. (Fort Goede Hoop), Crevecoeur Fort Holl. (Ussher Fort), and Christianisbourg Fort Danois (Osu Castle). Also noted is Chateau S. George de la Mine aux Hollandois (Elmina Castle)

The map extends from the Volta River in the east to Axim and Ankobra in the west

This chart was produced by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772), France's preeminent maritime cartographer and the Premier Ingénieur of the Depot de la Marine (the French Hydrographical Office), as well as the Official Hydrographer of King Louis XV. The chart was part of Bellin's greatest work, the monumental sea atlas, Hydrographie française (1753).

The present example is an especially fine example with the additional rhumb lines not present on most examples of the map, further evidence of the intended use of the chart for navigation at sea.

This example of the map includes a Depot de la Marine and a price, indicating that this was separately issued.

Condition Description
Binding tab at top margin and a narrow margin at bottom. Small marginal tear on left.
Jacques Nicolas Bellin Biography

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.