Plan de la Baye et Rades de Marseille (small scale)
DESCRIPTION: Drawn by Henri Michelot, pilot of the royal galley for Louis XIV and XV , this large chart of the bay of Marseilles would have been useful to coastal navigators such as those with the Corps de Galeres. Extending from Cap Couronne past Cap Croisete to Morgiou the chart notes local water sources (galleys could only carry enough water for about two weeks), anchorages, and denotes a near-shore passage for the galleys near Cap Croisete: "Passage ordinaire des Galeres".
The authors' intimate knowledge of the area is confirmed by their location of several "madragues" around the bay (large anchored fish ponds or seines) that would have posed a threat to any fleet of coastal vessels operating in the area.
The city of Marseille is shown surrounded by city walls on three sides. This chart is of special interest as Marseille was one of the chief bases for the galleys (galère / galères) of Louis XIV and XV as well as the home port for Michelot and Bremond. In the year this chart was published, 1720, the city of Marseille experienced an outbreak of "la peste", bubonic plague, that killed an estimated 40% of its population. The plague, spread from an arriving merchant ship, was one of the last great outbreaks in Western Europe. Perhaps it is coincidence but the location of both the Infirmerie Vieux and the Infermerie Vielle in Marseile are indicated.
With a large beautifully engraved title cartouche by Starckman featuring Neptune with two overflowing horns-of-plenty.
[IN STOCK: Henry Michelot and Laurens Bremond]
TITLE: Plan de la Baye et Rades de Marseilles et des environs Dediee a Monsieur le Grande Prieur de Frances General des Galeres
BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean
CONDITION: Very Good
Very nice condition for its age with one or two tiny brown spots. Top professionally margined outside the neat line. Bright strong paper.
ENGRAVER: P. Starckman
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