Copper engraving, 22 x 42 cm, black and white, blank verso.
This is a plan of Chennai (Madras), illustrating the French capture of the city in September 1746, during the War of the Austrian Succession. Jacques Nicolas Bellin the elder (1703-1772) was first chief hydrographic engineer of the “Dépôt des cartes, plans et journaux du Ministère de la Marine,” charged by Louis XV with mapping the coasts of France first and then the rest of the world. He was also a member of the Royal Society of London. Bellin compiled the maps for Prévost’s Histoire Générale des Voyages, an influential collection of travel accounts, and he later reworked them for his Petit Atlas Francaise and his Petit Atlas Maritime.