Paris: Bellin, Nicolas, 1763. unbound. Map. Copper plate engraving. Original outline hand color. Image measures 18" x 12"
This fine antique chart of the Western Hemisphere was issued by Bellin in 1763. It presents North America and South America in exceptional detail, noting place names, rivers, islands, and notes on discoveries. Elevation is beautifully rendered and scale notations are in English and French.
The map notes the location of the Sea of the West or the Mer de l'Ouest, but does not actually depict the Sea. Speculated by Guillaume Delisle based on the questionable account of Juan de Fuca and old legends, the Sea of the West was believed to be related to the hope of the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The map also includes several notations regarding the Northwest Passage and the discoveries of Admiral de Fonte.
The map includes a beautiful compass rose and a rococo style title cartouche. In good condition with minor foxing and minor wear along folds. Original plate mark is visible.
Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772), was the official hydrographer to the French king and the first person to hold the title of "Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot des cartes et plans de la Marine" (chief engineer of the French Hydrographical Office).