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2006 Catalog > Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Louisiane et de la Floride

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11. Jacques-Nicolas Bellin. “Carte Reduite des Costes de la Louisiane et de la Floride Dressée au Depost des Cartes Plans et Journaux de la Marine” (Paris: Dépot général de la marine, 1764). Published in Hydrographie françoise. Double-page copperplate engraving in black and white, as issued. 22 1/2 x 33 1/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 24 5/8 x 34 3/4". Beautiful Rococo title cartouche at u. r. Minor transference; minor paper loss to top margin at centerfold. Else, fine, with a superb, dark, crisp impression.

Price: SOLD.

The most significant of Bellin's maps for the Gulf Coast of Florida and Texas is the spectacular one offered here, published in 1764 at the close of the French presence in the region. Perhaps influenced by Thomas Nairne's map of 1711, Bellin shows the Florida peninsula as a bizarrely broken archipelago. The depiction of the river systems of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama is quite detailed, especially for the period. There is a large-scale, finely rendered inset of the mouth of the Mississippi—“Carte des Embouchures du Fleuve St. Louis”—occupying the lower left quadrant of the plate. Bellin was "the last great French map-maker to concern himself with the cartography of the French possessions in North America," according to Verner and Stuart-Stubbs. In 1721 he was appointed chief cartographer to the French Navy, for whom he made a number of landmark maps for French America. The present is a highly influential map of Florida and the Gulf Coast, exquisitely engraved, and one of the best examples of Florida as an archipelago.

Refs.: Jackson, Flags along the Coast Charting the Gulf of Mexico, 1519–1759, pp. 95–96, plate 50; Lowery, Maps of Spanish Possessions, no. 485; Phillips, Atlases, 590; Verner and Stuart-Stubbs, The Northpart of America, p. 56.

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