Baye de Cadiz et Detroit de Gibraltar
DESCRIPTION: From the perspective of this writer this chart of Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar is the most important chart of the 16 large Mediterranean sea charts by Henry Michelot and Laurens Bremond . The chart bears the earliest date of any of the 16 that were published - 1718. Also, the large decorative title cartouche at the upper left is reflective of Michelot's rank and symbols of high status. Michelot describes himself as “Hydrographe et Pilote Real des Galères du Roy” (hydrographer and pilot of the royal galley for the kings galley corps).
The vessel depicted in the cartouche is clearly the "Reale" or Royal Galley (galère, Fr.) with three large stern lanterns. These distinctive lights served at night as a reference point for the fleet to follow. Above the galley, at the center top of the cartouche are the coat of arms of the French King surrounded on both sides by numerous banners and weapons including cannon and pikes. Perhaps the most unusual and significant decorative element is the two captive Muslim prisoners. Along with the opulent galley and other power icons the image of these near naked, chained ‘infidel’ captives would have been intended to demonstrate the map maker’s high status and authority to the map’s audience and as Petto points out, to reflect glory onto the map-makers patron to whom the charts were dedicated.
With an inset legend and a single large very decorative central compass rose and rhumb lines. Includes San Lucar de Barameda, Rota, Cape Trafalgar, Ceuta, Tangiers, Tarife (Tarifa) Gibraltar, Puerto Santa Maria and the hills of Medina Sidonia. Perhaps more than any other chart from the pair of Marseilles-based cartographers the numerous guard towers, soundings, and marked anchorages would have been important to the intended constituency for this chart- galley pilots and other coastal navigators of that period.
TITLE: Nouvelle Carte de la Baye de Cadis et du Detroit de Gibraltar, dediee a Monseigneur, Le Chevalier d'Orleans, General des Galeres de France. Par ses tres humbles serviteurs…
BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean, Bay of Cadiz
Strong paper, no holes or tears. Clean and bright.
ENGRAVER: Probably P. Starck-man
Now accepting credit cards