Ayrouard, Jacques

Antique plan of the port of Cette, France (Sete)

Plan du Port de Cette en Juillet 1733

DESCRIPTION: Antique French Mediterranean port plan or chart for the town of Sète, France (Cette) in the southeast French region of Occitanie. This old port plan by Jacques Ayrouard (Marseilles ca. 1732- 1746) depicts the small port of Sète in 1733, likely on an earlier visit by Ayrouard. Of particular interest is that Sète is and was the Mediterranean terminus for the Canal Royal de Languedoc ( now the Canal du Midi ), opened in 1681. Shows the protective outer môle or jetty with a walkway and an inner jetty of rock. Wharves line docks where offshore sailing vessels would have had their cargos unloaded and trans-shipped through the canal in smaller shallow-draft barges. In the early 18th century French galleys may have traveled through the canal between their base in Marseilles and Bordeaux, St. Malo or Dunkirk. (Source: Chatelain, Henry. "Carte Generalle du Gouvernement Militaire de France")

The antique chart was published from Marseilles, France in a scarce atlas titled: "Recueil de Plusiers Plans des Ports et Rades et de Quelque Cartes Particulieres de la Mer Mediterranee".

In the attribution Ayrouard is described as "Pilot Real" or pilot of la Reale, the flagship of the French galley corps with a total complement of about 550 including 360 oarsmen and 100 soldiers. In their Dictionnaire de la Marine from 1702 Covens and Mortier explain:
"(Réale) is the name of the main galley of an independent kingdom, not of a tributary kingdom annexed to a greater one. The Réale, in France, is reserved for the general of the galleys and flies the royal ensign which distinguishes it from the others. This ensign is square in shape and red in colour, with golden fleurs-de-lys." (Internet)

CREATOR: Ayrouard, Jacques



BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean Sea

CONDITION: Good.  On strong laid paper with ample margins. Minor age-toning.


ENGRAVER: h. Coussin a Aix

SIZE: 17 " x 11 "


PRICE: $600


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