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Carte réduite de l'isle de Cube

Cuba's importance to the Spanish colonial empire was its strategic location, providing a haven for the assembling of the Spanish ships in the Havana harbor, as the fleet prepared for its return voyage to Spain. Upon departing Cuba, the fleet sailed north along Florida's eastern coast, utilizing the strong Gulf Stream current. Nicolas Bellin, a French chart maker and the best hydrographer of the time, was the compiler of this chart. As a navigational aid, the chart delineates several sea routes around the islands, symbolizes shallow areas with a stippling pattern in order to identify dangerous sailing conditions, and positions three compass roses on the chart to assist sailors in plotting their courses. In contrast to these utilitarian intentions and its scientific appearance, the chart also includes an elaborate title cartouche symbolizing the tropical nature of the island with its palm trees and reptiles, including a crocodile, which some suggest resembles the shape of Cuba.

Metadata

Creator

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas, 1703-1772

Date

1762

Name on Item

dréssée au Dépôt des Cartes et Plans de la marine pour le service des Vaisseaux du Roy ... par le S. Bellin.

Publisher

[s.n.]

Scale

Scale [ca. 1:1,140,000]

Language

French

Location

Boston Public Library

Collection (local)

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Collection

Subjects
  • Nautical charts--Cuba--Early works to 1800
  • Cuba--Maps--Early works to 1800
Places
  • Cuba
  • North and Central America
Extent

1 map ; 67 x 94 cm.

Terms and License
  • No known copyright restrictions.
  • No known restrictions on use.
Notes
  • Relief shown pictorially.
  • Depths shown by soundings.
  • Featured in the Faces & Places Exhibit, Kravis Center, Palm Beach, FL, since 2005. MB (BRL)

Collection Information

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