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The Dépôt de la Marine, known more formally as the Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine, was the central charting institution of France. The centralization of hydrography in France began in earnest when Jean-Baptiste Colbert became First Minister of France in 1661. Under his watch, the first Royal School of Hydrography began operating, as did the first survey of France’s coasts (1670-1689). In 1680, Colbert consolidated various collections of charts and memoirs into a single assemblage, forming the core of sources for what would become the Dépôt.

The Dépôt itself began as the central deposit of charts for the French Navy. In 1720, the Navy consolidated its collection with those government materials covering the colonies, creating a single large repository of navigation. By 1737, the Dépôt was creating its own original charts and, from 1750, they participated in scientific expeditions to determine the accurate calculation of longitude.

In 1773, the Dépôt received a monopoly over the composition, production, and distribution of navigational materials, solidifying their place as the main producer of geographic knowledge in France.  Dépôt-approved charts were distributed to official warehouses in port cities and sold by authorized merchants. The charts were of the highest quality, as many of France’s premier mapmakers worked at the Dépôt in the eighteenth century, including Philippe Bauche, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Rigobert Bonne, Jean Nicolas Buache, and Charles-François Beautemps-Beaupré.

The Dépôt continued to operate until 1886, when it became the Naval Hydrographic Service. In 1971, it changed names again, this time to the Naval and Oceanographic Service (SHOM). Although its name has changed, its purpose is largely the same, to provide high quality cartographic and scientific information to the France’s Navy and merchant marine.

Place/Date:
Paris / 1820 circa
Size:
10.5 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58542
Place/Date:
Paris / 1820 circa
Size:
10 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58540
Place/Date:
Paris / 1820 circa
Size:
10 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58541
Place/Date:
Paris / 1793
Size:
20.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23765
Place/Date:
Paris / 1867
Size:
11 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62818
Place/Date:
Paris / 1868
Size:
19 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38455pb

Archived

Place/Date:
Paris / 1856
Size:
18 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
3447
Place/Date:
Paris / 1856
Size:
12 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
3443
Place/Date:
Paris / 1835
Size:
16 x 22 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35008
Place/Date:
Paris / 1832
Size:
16 x 22 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
34962
Place/Date:
Paris / 1820 circa
Size:
10.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58539
Place/Date:
Paris / 1793
Size:
20.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23792
Place/Date:
London / 1856
Size:
17 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19067
Place/Date:
Paris / 1861
Size:
35 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15688
Place/Date:
Paris / 1871 (1874)
Size:
24.5 x 36 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58031
Place/Date:
Paris / 1840
Size:
35 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
51849
Place/Date:
Paris / 1867
Size:
36 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21994
Place/Date:
Paris / 1835
Size:
40.5 x 28.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
36218