The first edition of Bellin's chart of the Indian Ocean
By BELLIN, Jacques Nicolas , 1740

Carte reduite de L'Ocean-Oriental ou Mar des Indes Contenant Les Costes d’Afrique, depuis le Cap den Bonne Espce. jusqu’a a la Mer Rouge, et celles de’Asie, depuis la Mer Rouge, jusqu’a Canton en Chine Avec les Isles de Madagascar, Bourbon, et de France, les Maldives, I. Ceylan, Sumatra, Java &c.

Asia Indian Ocean
  • Author: BELLIN, Jacques Nicolas
  • Publication place: [Paris]
  • Publication date: 1740.
  • Physical description: Engraved chart with original outline hand colour.
  • Dimensions: 642 by 933mm (25.25 by 36.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15817


A chart of the Indian Ocean.

There was considerable French interest in the Indian Ocean: from 1735 there were French efforts to completely colonise Mauritius, La Réunion and and the Seychelles. Two years after the map was published the Compagnie Perpétuelle des Indes would make a bid for greater control in India. Madagascar was of interest as a centre of piracy.

The chart was issued separately and as part of Jean de Beaurain’s ‘Atlas geographique’.

Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703–1772) joined the “Dépôt des Cartes et Plans de la Marine” in 1721, at the age of 18, one year after it had been established, as the first “Ingénieur hydrographe de la Marine”, a post he held until his death in 1772.