Carte des variations de la Boussole et des vents généraux que l'on trouve dans les mers les plus frequentées. Jacques-Nicolas BELLIN.

Carte des variations de la Boussole...
Carte des variations de la Boussole et des vents généraux que l'on trouve dans les mers les plus frequentées.

Paris: Dépôt Génerale de la Marine, 1765.

Chart, engraved; 620 x 930 mm.

Halley's great dream pursued by Bellin

Mid eighteenth century world map showing magnetic variation through the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This map represents decades of work by several enlightenment luminaries. The scientific study of magnetic variation was initiated by Edmund Halley and William Dampier, who respectively commanded the first two English scientific voyages and took magnetic bearings at sea. In the early eighteenth century Halley published a world map of compass variations incorporating data from many sources and the map was re-published several times. At this time Halley introduced an important innovation into mapmaking with 'isogonic lines' representing equal magnetic values.

Mid eighteenth century world map showing magnetic variation through the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This map represents decades of work by several enlightenment luminaries. The scientific study of magnetic variation was initiated by Edmund Halley and William Dampier, who respectively commanded the first two English scientific voyages and took magnetic bearings at sea. In the early eighteenth century Halley published a world map of compass variations incorporating data from many sources and the map was re-published several times. At this time Halley introduced an important innovation into mapmaking with 'isogonic lines' representing equal magnetic values.
However, as magnetic variation remains in constant flux Halley's chart inevitably became obsolete. In 1744 the Royal Society commissioned two of its members, William Mountain and James Dodson, to collate and compile some 50,000 individual magnetical observations gleaned from the logbooks of Royal Navy and East India Company officers. The project was so complex that both men ultimately conceded they did not believe variation came 'under the direction of any one general law'.
This French map was prepared by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin and published by the Ministry of the Marine. As one of the pre-eminent geographers of pre-Revolutionary France, Bellin brings Halley's original project up to date to the year 1765. Bellin is remembered for the quality of his work and prodigious output (including the impressive atlases Le Neptune Français of 1735 and the Hydrographie Français of 1756-1765). Among other achievements, Bellin contributed to Diderot's Encyclopédie and was elected a member of the Royal Society in London.

Price (AUD): $9,750.00  other currencies     Ref: #3912467

Condition Report

See all items in Voyages & travels, Maps, Europe, SCIENCES
See all items by