By: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin
Date: 1744 (circa) Paris
Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.5 inches (21.8 x 16.5 cm)
This interesting map of the Gulf of Darien is by one of the most important map makers of the 18th century, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin.
The map features the Gulf of Darien which occupies the southernmost extension of the Caribbean Sea. Within the Gulf is a smaller one, the Gulf of Uraba. The area contains the island named New Caledonia, called l’Isle d’Or by Bellin on the map, by Scotts who attempted to colonize in the late 17th century, when five ships carrying approximately 500 people left Scotland for the New World. The expeditions eventually founded two colonies opposite the island and managed to establish sovereignty, but they had already been abandoned by 1700. This map depicts the main colony, the city named New Edimbourg, and its defenses.
Born in 1703 in Paris, Bellin was already making his way in his profession at the age of 18 when he was appointed chief cartographer to the French navy. He was a member of the intellectual elite of France who called themselves the Philosophes. Before his fortieth birthday he had been appointed official hydrographer to French king Louis XV, who had been interested in the natural sciences from an early age on, and who recognized the talent and ability of Bellin. When the king promoted him to this prestigious position, Bellin’s place in French cartography was ensured. Bellin is known and remembered as one of the great European cartographers of his day. This map was published just a few years after Bellin had been named Royal Cartographer to the French Crown.
Condition: This map is in A condition. A crisp impression on fine, heavy paper that is lightly toned with age.
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