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Dated 1748 but note in sea bottom blank Baye de l’Oiseau decouv le 6 Janu. 1774 belies this and it is suggested that the last two numbers were erroneously transposed. . Long title: Essay D’Une Carte Reduite Contenant les Parties Connuees du Globe Terrestre dedie a M le Comte de Maurepas, Commandeur des ordres du Roy, Ministre et Secretaire d’Etat . Copper engraving with subtle outline hand colouring. Overall sheet size: 73.4cms x 57.5cms; image size: 692mm x 501mm. Bellin identifies the semi-mythical civilizations of Quivira and Teguayo,west of the Mississipi in NOrth America, both associated with legends of the Seven Cities of Gold, in what is modern day Utah, California, and Nevada. North American discoveries are noted such as the ‘entree’ on the West coast discovered by Martin Aguilar. North America is shown with a prominent River of the West connecting through a series of rivers and lakes from Lake Superior to the Pacific - representing the elusive search for a Northwest Passage. Further North the dates of the discoveries are noted before the coast peters out completely. Similarly the West coast of Australia (’Nouvelle Hollande’) has three dates of discovery , namely 1622/1623/1628. Van Dieman’s land (Tasmania) is marked but shown as part of the mainland. No dates on the East coast. Cook’s strait marked inbetween the two New Zealand islands. The meridian of the map is through Paris, but longitude calculations are included from l’Isle de Fer. Anarresting compass rose in the southern oceans is labelled with the wind directions. A decorative cartouche surrounds the title in the lower left corner, which includes a coat of arms and navigational instruments.
Old folds as issued, now flattened and faint; extreme right margin augmented with old paper to marry the edges and the left margin is similarly restored with one repaired teas; three margin edge repairs on verso and three discreet repairs to small pinpricks at fold intersections; one faint fox spot below Baye de l’Oiseau bottom right blank else stunning map in good condition.
Jacques Nicolas Bellin was one of the key mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721 at the age of 18 he became hydrographer to the French Navy continuing to become the first Ingenieur de la Marine of the Depot des cartes et plans de la Marine(the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the King of France. Under his tenure, the Depot was the most active centre for the production of sea charts and and maps including the sea atlases the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. He contributed a number of maps to the 15 volume Histoire Generale des Voyage of Antoine Francois Prevost. Bellin’s work ensured that France took a leading role in European