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Manuscript Map of Dunkirk.

A finely executed hand-drawn plan of the fortified town and port of Dunkerque (Dunkirk), prior to its demolition in 1713 by the French following the Treaty of Utrecht.

This map appears to have been drawn in the later 18th century, given the paper on which it is drawn as well as the style of the "Pro Patria" watermark. As such, it was a historical look back at Dunkirk when it flourished as a French base for pirates.

The map shows the outline of the city as well as fortifications. Divisions between city blocks and hydrograph in the town is shown. The long ship canal leading out to sea is shown.

Dunkerque During The Age of Corsairs

Dunkerque came under French rule when King Charles II of England sold it to France for £320,000 in October 1662. The French government then developed the town as a fortified port and the town's existing defenses were adapted to create ten bastions.

The port was then expanded in the 1670s by the construction of a basin that could hold up to thirty warships with a double lock system to maintain water levels at low tide. The basin was linked to the sea by a channel dug through coastal sandbanks secured by two jetties. This work was completed by 1678. The jetties were defended a few years later by the construction of five forts, Château d'Espérance, Château Vert, Grand Risban, Château Gaillard, and Fort de Revers. An additional fort was built in 1701 called Fort Blanc.

The jetties, their forts, and the port facilities were demolished in 1713 under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht.

Condition Description
Pen and ink with wash color on 18th-century laid paper with finely executed watermark reading "Pro Patria" underlain by a B. Minor soiling. Pencil manuscript, likely 19th century, reading "Dunkerquerque avant sa Demolition." Minor wear to uppermost part of paper.