Michelot and Bremond

Antique French nautical chart of the western Mediterranean

Carte Particuliere des cotes D'Espagne et de Barbarie depuis Gibraltar jusqu' au Cap de Palle et depuis Ceuta jusqu' au Cap Ferat. Didee a Monseigneur le Grand Prieur de France General des Galeres.

DESCRIPTION: This authentic, antique, early 18th-century portolan-style nautical chart showcases the western Mediterranean Sea, featuring the southern coasts of France and Spain. The rare nautical chart was created by Henri Michelot and Laurent Bremond, and covers the Mediterranean coastlines of Europe and Africa (Barbarie) from the Strait of Gibraltar and Ceuta in the west to Cap Palle in the east, passing through Marbella, Malaga, Almeria, and Cartagena. Numerous guard towers are marked along the shorelines, which would have been vital during that period of extensive raiding from the Barbary coast. It also includes two large insets: one of Gibraltar and the other of the Bay of Tangier (Tanger).

Some distinctive elements not found in other Michelot and Bremond antique nautical charts are a portrayal of a navigator (possibly Michelot?) seated on bales of goods adorned with the initials and symbols associated with the authors and engraver, surrounded by maritime items and navigational instruments such as chart, compass, and cross-staff. Additionally, an unexplained distance scale is included inside the neat line near the bottom left. This scale is typically only found on small-scale charts and was likely intended for navigators to place divider points without damaging the main distance scale through constant pricking.


Henry Michelot and Laurens Bremond

Henri Michelot was an early 18th century French cartographer with a close connection to the sea. Michelot, self-described Hydrographer and Pilot of the Galere Royale or Royal Galley, was then part of a corps of approximately 40 galleys (galeres) or oared sailing vessels stationed in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast. In the Mediterranean, galleys were based primarily at the arsenal in Marseilles, France. Galleys were typically rigged with the triangular Mediterranean "Lateen" sail(s).

Bookseller and royal hydrographer Laurent Bremond "Hydrographe du Roi et de la Ville" sold charts and maritime books from his establishment in Marseille located near the port at the corner of Reboul street ( "au Coin de Reboul").

The output of Michelot and Bremond, from approximately 1715 through 1730 consisted of an atlas of 16 small-scale charts, a port book of 37 large-scale charts, and a coast pilot of the Mediterranean: "Portulan de la Mer Mediterranee, ou Guide des Pilotes Cotiers." Their work (the "Portulan" was published in several languages at least until 1805) and was a primary source of navigational information about the Mediterranean for years. The charts of Michelot and Bremond were often copied by others such as Kitchin and Roux.

CREATOR: Michelot and Bremond



BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean, Bay of Gibraltar, Bay of Tangiers

CONDITION: Very good.  Strong paper, no holes or tears. Clean and bright. Professionally remargined outside the neat line at top. Printer's smudges to extreme right center.


ENGRAVER: P. Starck-man

SIZE: 27 " x 19 "


PRICE: $2850


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