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Jean-Baptiste de Mannevillette: Carte d'une partie des Cotes de la Chine

Map: SEAS5192
Cartographer: Jean-Baptiste de Mannevillette
Title: Carte d'une partie des Cotes de la Chine
Date: 1775
Published: Paris
Width: 19 inches / 49 cm
Height: 13 inches / 34 cm
Map ref: SEAS5192
One of the first commercially available charts to show any detail of Hong Kong, here named Fanchin chow, an early name for the island. The map is focused on the mouth of the Pearl River leading to the Bocca Tigris also known as the Humen.

Geographically the map stretches from Macao in the west to Fokai Point in the east with the focus on the islands of Lantao and Fanchin chow (Hong Kong). The status of Hong Kong, whether an island or a peninsula, is left unclear.

The map was compiled by Alexander Dalrymple, who Mannevillette also credits as the author. Dalrymple was a Writer for the East India Company based in Madras in the 1750s and became interested in the potential for trade with China and the East Indies during his stay. His employment gave him access to charts of the region unavailable to commercial map makers in London. The map states that it is based on surveys made by the “snow” rigged brig “le Goudelours” in 1759 and 1760 as well as those of the East India Ship “London” in 1754.

Dalrymple’s chart was widely distributed as part of the Neptune Orientale, a book of charts of the Eastern seas compiled and edited by Jean Baptiste d’apres de Mannevillette. At the age of 12, de Mannevillette accompanied his father on a voyage to the Far East. Following his father’s footsteps, he became an officer in the “Compagnie des Indes” or French East India Company. He made numerous voyages to the East and eventually also became a ship’s captain. During his time at sea, he collected, edited and corrected charts. These would eventually by compiled into the 1745 edition of the “Neptune Orientale” which immediately became the cartographic authority for sailors of all nations to the east.

In 1775, de Mannevillette produced a new, augmented edition of the “Neptune” including this chart of the south coast of China compiled by his friend and fellow hydrographer, Alexander Dalrymple.

Coloured. [SEAS5192]