Michelot and Bremond

Plan de la Baye et Rades de Marseille LS


Plan de la n et Rades de Marseille LS


Antique, original copperplate portulan-style coastal chart / plan of the Bay of Marseille and nearby islands. Coverage includes coastal France from Cap Couronne to Port Estat. Marseille shown with fortifications as they existed in the early 18th century.

Numerous soundings and marked anchorages on this antique nautical chart would have been useful to galley pilots and other mariners calling at Marseille. Single compass rose with radiating rhumb lines and fleur de lis indicating north. Henry Michelot's chart of Marseille was often copied by others such as Kitchin well into the late 1700's.

This chart is of special interest as Marseille was the chief base for the galleys (galères) of Louis XIV and XV as well as the home port for Michelot and Bremond. Also note that just seven year earlier, in 1720, the city of Marseilles had been subject to 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 Europe.

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

CONDITION: Very Good  Paper only very slightly tanned but strong with good platemark. Slightly browned at edges.


ENGRAVER: P. Starck-man

SIZE: 9 " x 6 "




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