Carte d'une partie des Côtes de la Chine et des Isles adjacentes depuis l'Isle nommée la Pierre Blanche, jusqu'à celle de l'Artimon

Title: Carte d'une partie des Côtes de la Chine et des Isles adjacentes depuis l'Isle nommée la Pierre Blanche, jusqu'à celle de l'Artimon
Date: C1775
Mapmaker: Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808)
Engraver: Jean-Baptiste D'Apres de Mannevillette (1707-1781)
Image Size: 335mm x 484mm (13.19" x 19.06")
Sheet Size: 400mm x 500mm (15.75" x 19.69")
Technique: Hand coloured copper engraving.
Condition: In good condition.
Stock Number: NORIENT 053 ASI HK (JTTHN) (RW05)
Price: $A 5,750

Important C18th chart of Hong Kong based upon the surveys made from the original surveys and soundings in 1754, 1759, and 1760 by Alexander Dalrymple. This edition of Dalrymple's map was published by Jean-Baptiste D'Apres de Mannevillette in his later editions of Neptune Orientale, the most highly regarded pilot for the Eastern trade for both French and English ships. The chart is dedicated to Alexander Dalrymple hydrographer to Britain's East India Company. Mannevillette was one of the few cartographers that had the admiration of the the difficult, Alexander Dalrymple. The two collaborated and shared information with the aim of updating current navigational charts. 

The chart extends from just West of Macao, shows the Bocca Tigris in the Pearl River and the islands around present-day Hong Kong, with Lantao and Lamma both identified. Importantly Hong Kong island is shown and identified as Fanchinchow.  

Mannevillette was one of the most eminent and influential cartographers who was instrumental in raising the standards of available printed sea charts for the eastern trade in both France and England in the C18th. From about 1735 Mannevillette had set about collecting detailed charts of the known coasts from Africa to Australia and which with the financial support of the Comapne des Indes and the Academie des Sciences, published his ground breaking sea atlas, Le Neptune Oriental in 1745.

The first issue comprised twenty two charts and was superior to any previously available and consequently quickly became the indispensable atlas for ship owners, captains and pilots engaged in the Southeast Asian sea routes. The second edition was expanded to 56 charts and included 
this chart of Hong Kong. 

Mannevillette had applied his advances in navigational techniques 
to the charts which he had refined in the intervening 30 years. 

References: NLA-Mapping Our World p.191, ill.p.190

Collections: National Library of Australia, Bib ID3770095

From Mannevillette's, Le Neptune oriental.


Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808)

Hydrographer, educated first by his father, until he was 14 at the Haddington school. He went to London after his father's death and in 1752, through the influence of an uncle by marriage, General St Clair, was appointed a writer in the East India Co.'s service, being first posted to Madras. While with the company Dalrymple became interested in the possibilities of trade with the East Indies and China, negotiated a treaty with the sultan of Sulu and visited Canton; in 1765 he returned to London where he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

When translating some Spanish documents captured in the Philippines in 1762, Dalrymple had found Torres's testimony proving a passage south of New Guinea, he now showed Torres's route of 1606 on a chart in his An Account of the Discoveries Made in The South Pacifick Ocean, Previous to 1764 (London, 1767). In this work he declared his belief in the existence of a great southern continent, extending into low latitudes in the Pacific; more important, he brought Torres's route to the notice of Joseph Banks. In 1768 it was suggested that Dalrymple should lead the expedition being sent to the Pacific to observe the transit of Venus but his insistence that he should command the vessel was contrary to Admiralty regulations.

Dalrymple continued to insist that a great southern continent existed. By circumnavigating New Zealand, Cook on his first voyage had imposed severe limitations on this hypothesis, and on his second voyage in 1772-75, he completely disproved it; nevertheless Dalrymple's writings had done much to maintain official interest in Pacific exploration. In 1768 the East India Co. had offered Dalrymple management of a new factory it planned at Balambangan in Borneo, in line with the proposals he had earlier put forward and later expressed in A Plan for Extending the Commerce of this Kingdom and of the East-India-Company (London, 1769); but his demands were so extreme that in 1771 the company dismissed him. In 1775 he was again appointed to Madras; after only two years he was recalled. In 1779 he was appointed hydrographer to the company. He carried out valuable work in his prolific publication of charts, but he was also ever ready to indulge in violent controversy on the identification of various Pacific islands. He was convinced that trade in this area would be profitable, arguing by analogy with India and China that the indigenous peoples would be found numerous and wealthy; partly for this reason, he strongly opposed the establishment of New South Wales in A Serious Admonition to the Public on the Intended Thief-Colony at Botany Bay (London, 1786). He insisted that the whole scheme was only an attempt to carry on illegal trade in violation of the monopoly of the East India Co., and ridiculed transportation there as a punishment. However, his criticism was ignored. In 1795 he was appointed hydrographer to the Admiralty, but again his difficult temperament proved his undoing. On 28 May 1808 he was dismissed; as a result, 'in the opinion of his medical attendants, he died of vexation' on 19 June. That he should be remembered as one who engaged in constant disputes with the East India Co. and the Admiralty, who pursued a foolish and unnecessary vendetta against Cook and who supported erroneous geographical theories is perhaps inevitable; although the latter often reflected skilful deduction, Dalrymple invariably postulated them with a dogmatism unjustified by the evidence. He was over-bearing, opinionated and cantankerous, but also intelligent, enthusiastic and determined. He made major contributions to marine cartography and his writings on mercantile and public affairs show the breadth of his interests.

Jean Baptist Nicolas Apres de Mannevillette (1707-1781) 

Jean-Batiste Apres de Mannevillette had studied under the royal cartographer Guillaume de L’Isle and was one of the first to use the method of measuring distances from the sun and moon to determine latitude. He took part in numerous voyages to the East and was made director of the Depot des Cartes et Plans de la Navigation des Indes. All French ships navigating the Indian Ocean used these charts and as a consequence of this on board use, many are found in poor and damaged condition.