Artist / Author / Cartographer:

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas


Formosa - L'Isle Formose et Partie des Cotes de la Chine




copper engraving, later colour


23.5 x 28 cm


A map of Taiwan from the mid eighteenth century showing a mountain range running through the middle of the Island. On this map the major towns appear to be Formosa to the north and Taiouan to the south west. To the west of the isalnd are the islands of Pong-hou and the coast of China with Emoui (Amoy) and Quemoui(Quemoy). There are very few early printed maps of Formosa available.


The French cartographer Nicolas Bellin worked for over fifty years at the French Hydrographic Service where he was appointed the first chief hydrographic engineer of the “Depot des cartes, plans et journaux du Ministere de la Marine”. While working there he was commissioned to carry out major surveys of all the known coasts of the world. This resulted in the production of a large number of sea charts of the highest quality which appeared in many editions with varying numbers of charts. He was appointed ‘Hydrographer to the King’ and was a member of the Royal Society in London. Among the books and atlases that contained Bellin’s maps of China and South East Asia were Abbe Prevost’s Histoire Generale des Voyages 1746 and Le Neptune Francais 1753.


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