‘CARTE du GROENLAND’ (Greenland, Iceland & ‘Frisland’) by J. N. Bellin c.1770 / 1780


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A very attractive 18th century Jacques Nicolas Bellin map / sea chart of Greenland, with Iceland and the coast of Frisland*, which was drawn and engraved by Laurent and published in Jean-Francois de la Harpe’s Abrege L’Histoire Générale des Voyages (Paris: Hotel de Thou, 1780).

*Frisland was a phantom island which appeared on most maps of the North Atlantic from 1558 onwards. It was the result of the publication by Nicoló Zeno (the younger) of a map which he claimed was produced by his 14th century descendants, the brothers Nicoló and Antonio. They had supposedly travelled to the North Atlantic discovering various islands including Frisland and even North America. Now dismissed as a hoax, the map was taken seriously by leading cartographers of the period including Gerard Mercator, Abraham Ortelius and later, Joan Blaeu. Future explorers eventually proved it was a myth and but even as late as 1770, J. N. Bellin / Laurent’s map of Greenland still alluded to its existence.

“Jacques Nicholas Bellin (1705-72) spent over fifty years at the French Hydrographic Service where he was appointed the first ‘Ingéieur hydrographe de la Marine’. During his term of office there he was commissioned to carry out major surveys, first of the coasts of France and later of all the known coasts of the world. These tremendous undertakings resulted in the production of a very large number of sea charts of the highest quality which appeared in many editions with varying numbers of charts to the end of the century. He was appointed ‘Hydrographer to the King’ and was a member of the Royal Society in London.” (Moreland & Bannister, ‘Antique Maps’, Phaidon, 1989, p,136).

  • This is an original copperplate engraving with later hand colour.
  • Printed area is approximately 25.3cms by 19.5cms.
  • The engraving is in very good condition; vertical and horizontal folds as issued. The right margin has been extended. There is also some very minor offset. Click on image for a better view.
  • Click on ‘Delivery Policy’ for postage costs.
  • Guaranteed to be over 240 years old.
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Orders made from the 17th July will be dispatched after the 21st July.
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