BGJC-131

Antique Map of Northern China and Eastern Russia by Bellin (1754)

  • Condition: Very good, please study scan carefully.
  • Date: 1754
  • Overall size: 38.5 x 27 cm.
  • Image size: 31 x 21 cm.
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.. Carte De La Tartarie Orientale (..) - Bellin (1754)

Description: Antique map titled 'Carte De La Tartarie Orientale (..)'. A map for this far eastern portion of what is present day northern China and far eastern Russia. Centered on the Amur River, it shows what is a good bit of Manchuria and the Russia province of Khabarovsk. Shows the major hydrography as well as general terrain and what few towns and cities exist in the area. Just offshore is the Russian island of Sakhalin, though very primitively depicted.

Artists and Engravers: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 - 1772) was one of the most important cartographers of the 18th century. With a career spanning some 50 years, Bellin is best understood as geographe de cabinet and transitional mapmaker spanning the gap between 18th and early 19th century cartographic styles. His long career as Hydrographer and Ingénieur Hydrographe at the French Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine resulted in hundreds of high quality nautical charts of practically everywhere in the world. A true child of the Enlightenment Era, Bellin's work focuses on function and accuracy tending in the process to be less decorative than the earlier 17th and 18th century cartographic work. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bellin was always careful to cite his references and his scholarly corpus consists of over 1400 articles on geography prepared for Diderot's Encyclopedie. Bellin, despite his extraordinary success, may not have enjoyed his work, which is described as "long, unpleasant, and hard." In addition to numerous maps and charts published during his lifetime, many of Bellin's maps were updated (or not) and published posthumously. He was succeeded as Ingénieur Hydrographe by his student, also a prolific and influential cartographer, Rigobert Bonne.