1788 Coromandel from D’Anville’s Atlas
By: Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d' Anville
Date: 1788 (Published) London
Dimensions: 18 x 13.25 inches (45.7 cm x 33.7 cm)
This elegant and attractive hand colored map by d’Anville depicts the Coromandel Coast of India, which is the southeastern coastal region of the Indian Subcontinent.
Europe first made its presence known when the Portuguese established settlements here in the early sixteenth century. Following nearly a hundred years of relative peace, rivalries erupted involving European powers (British, Dutch, French and Danish) seeking sovereignty over it.
At times in its more recent history (since the appearance of Europeans) Coromandel has provided goods covering a wide variety of trades, including Indian Muslim eunuchs, who were sold to the court of Siam, Chinese lacquer goods such as screens, boxes and chests which shipped to and from the Coromandel ports, and which came to be known as Coromandel. The area also exported textiles, fruit, and vegetables. Diamonds were also a source of income for Coromandel. In the modern era it is the second largest producer of fertilizers in India, and its products are well known in the global marketplace.
The Coromandel Coast is home to extensive mangrove forests and a number of important wetlands are within its boundaries, providing provide habitat to countless migrating and resident birds. The map also serves as a sea chart, with myriad navigable routes issuing from two compass roses offshore in the Bay of Bengal. The map depicts and names the numerous river systems, streams and other waterways which empty into the Bay.
An interesting aside is that the Portuguese built a church in the Coromandel city of Chennai (formerly Madras) on the site designated as the grave of St. Thomas, who purportedly visited the area and established a mission where he spent his last days and was buried. Chennai and its locale comprise the fourth most populous area in modern India and is extremely popular with tourists on numerous counts, including its clean sea and white beaches.
Without ever leaving Paris, Jean Baptiste d' Anville became one of the most respected cartographers of his time, continuing the French school of cartography of Sanson and De l’Isle. He was also a scholar of the classics, and many of his maps relate to ancient geography. This edition of his map was published after his death at this request of J. Harrison of Newgate St., London. It originally was published in 1753.
Condition: This fascinating map is in A condition. It is elegant in appearance and well-preserved. One small separation has been repaired with archival material on the verso.
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