Bellin, Jacques Nicolas

Plan de la Nouvelle Orleans (3)

Plan de la Nouvelle Orleans sur le manuscrits du Depot des Cartes de la Marine (3)

DESCRIPTION: Antique French plan of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana ("la Nouvelle Orleans") from the period of French colonization ca. 1753. This antique city plan of New Orleans was based on a manuscript map created approximately 25 years after the city was founded on the east bank of the Mississippi river. This neat hand-colored, copper-plate engraved map shows the city laid out with French Quarter streets most residents would recognize today including Bienville, Bourbon, Chartres, Royale and at the center of the plan- Jackson Square. Note the spelling of Mississippi below the town with one "P" as "Fleuve Mississipi".

Nineteen key points within the city are keyed to a legend on the map just below the title. These key points within early New Orleans include:
  • Prisons
  • Place d'Armes (today's Jackson Square)
  • l'Eglise Paroissiale (parish church)
  • Poudriere (powder magazine)
  • Magasins du Roi (Royal stores)
  • Nouvelle Maison du Urselines (or new home for the Ursuline nuns, an important force in early New Orleans)
  • Forges du Roi (the King's forge or metalworking shop)
  • Moulin a vent et a Cheval (a mill operated by the wind and horse )
Interestingly, what appears to be a defensive wall around the city is labeled "fosse' plein d'eau". Fosse' is French for "canal". Therefore, even at this relatively early point in its history New Orleans, Louisiana had a canal originating in the vicinity of today's Canal Street. An opening for a gate labeled "St. Jean" would have allowed access to a road leading to Bayou St. John, then an important route to points East. Plate number 19.

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772)

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin was a prominent French hydrographer and geographer, recognized for his significant contributions to the development of cartography. For over half a century, Bellin served as the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was appointed Official Hydrographer to the French King. His expertise and precision led to the production of thousands of significant nautical charts and maps, enhancing maritime navigation.

Petit Atlas Maritime Title Page, Jacques Bellin, cartograpger. 1764.

Petit Atlas Maritime Title Page, 1764

One of Bellin's most notable works, "Le Petit Atlas Maritime," was published in 1764, encompassing five volumes of detailed charts and maps covering every part of the world. Bellin's cartographic legacy extends beyond France; his comprehensive maps and atlases were highly influential in shaping European understanding of global geography during the 18th century. His passion for accuracy and vast output have ensured his place in the annals of cartographic history.

CREATOR: Bellin, Jacques Nicolas



BODY OF WATER: Mississippi River

CONDITION: Very Good.  Strong impression. On strong, chain-laid paper. Slight trace of appropriate age-toning.

COLORING: Careful hand-color.


SIZE: 10 " x 7 "


PRICE: $700


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