This original impressive copper engraved chart of the Indian Ocean covers an area from Western Australia to Africa in the south, the Red Sea to Taiwan in the north, taking in Arabia, India, South East Asia and the Spice Islands. The map is crossed by a series of rhumb lines and features a flamboyant title cartouche placed on the African continent. This is the second edition of Bellin’s important sea chart and is significantly revised from the first edition of 1740. Tooley only notes this edition. Clancy illustrates a copy with a date of 1757 (M DCC LVII), but hesitates to acknowledge that it is Second edition. The chart was published separately with a price of Prix Cinquante Sols, and as engraved within the cartouche, J ay fait usage pour cette Carte de tout &c qui a ete public par M Danville par M D’Apres et autres, was published for sale to the public by map sellers Mr Danville and Mr D’Apres and others, but also appeared in Volume 2 of Bellin’s, Hydrographie Francoise¸ the most important compilation of sea charts published in the 18th Century.
The coastal routes of Dutch shipping along the African, Asian and Indian coasts are well annotated and Bellin names some of the early Dutch and English discoveries on the west coast including de Witt (1628) and Houtman (1619). Other Dutch discoveries are accounted for but not named, such as Tasman’s north coast discoveries. Dampier’s 1699 landing at Shark Bay is noted Baye des Chiens Marins (Bay of Sea Dogs) veue par Dampierre en 1699, and Terres de Diuning qui sont basses et noyees. The Triall, Christmas and Cocos Islands are prominent as is Isle Cloate. As with Bellin’s Australian map, reference is made to a fictitious French voyage to Australia’s south-west coast in 1687 by Duquesne. It must be noted that, unlike previous maps of this area by Bellin, he now annotates the West coast of Australia with both the title of Terres Australes and Nouvelle Hollande.