This detailed folio engraving is from the rare French Sea Atlas by Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denise D’Apres de Mannevillette’s Le Neptune Oriental. The work was published in Paris and Brest by Demonville and Malassis in 1775. The engravings feature maps, charts, and coastal views primarily revised by Mannevillette & the hydrographer, Alexander Dalrymple. The engravings were completed by Guillaume De la Haye.
br>The Atlas focused on coasts of the East Indies, Indochina and Formosa, Africa, Australia, the Red Sea, and India. This is the second edition which also includes maps of the Arabian Peninsular, western coas of present-day Saudi Arabia, and Jeddah. Much of the details in the maps are in the sea charting with rhumb lines, soundings, hazards, shoals, and anchorages shown.
Mannevillette spent 30 years, often in conjunction with Alexander Dalrymple, working on the second edition of this maritime atlas. It was substantially enlarged (and corrected) from the first edition of 1745 and was heavily used throughout the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries.
Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Denis d’Après de Mannevillette (17071780) was a French sailor and hydrographer, and captain of the Compagnie des Indes. Mannevillette apprenticed under the great royal cartographer Guillaume De L’Isle. His charting work, published in Neptune Oriental was a major achievement in mapping and a exceptional resource to sailors traveling the Indian Ocean and Asia. He was maticulous in updating his information so the second edition of this work truly had some of the most accurate cartography of the century. He was one of the first navigators to use Hadley’s revolutionary octant in taking measurements at sea.