Laval, Antoine

Rare early map of Fort Royal Bay, Martinique

Plan de La Rade du Fort Royal

DESCRIPTION: Rare, earliest (1728) chart of the entirety of Fort de France Bay. By Father Antoine Laval. Laval's antique chart of Fort Royal, based on surveys of 1720, should be considered a foundational artifact for collectors of Caribbean Island cartography as it is the first detailed printed chart to cover the entire Baie de Fort de France on the island of Martinique. It was almost 35 years later when the next accurate harbors plans of the "Cul de Sac Royal" were printed by Bellin (1764) and by Caylus (1760).

This map was included in the report of French astronomer Father Antoine Laval: "Voyage de la Louisiane", an account of the 1720 expedition to the Florida and Louisiana coasts led by French officer Valette de Laudun. Laval is recorded as mathematician or astronomer on that voyage. Laval was a professor of hydrography and mathematics based in the city of Toulon, France. Page 48.

Vallette de Laudun led the French expedition to Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico between March and November, 1720. The 262-member crew embarked from Toulon, France, on the ship Toulouse , encountering Madeira, Martinique, Saint-Domingue, and Cuba before entering the Gulf of Mexico. Following a month at Dauphin Island, the expedition returned to France.

CREATOR: Laval, Antoine



BODY OF WATER: Caribbean Sea

CONDITION: Good.  On laid paper. A good impression. Washed and flattened.



SIZE: 8 " x 6 "


PRICE: $500


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