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Map, India, Malabar Coromandel, Guillaume Delisle, Antique Print, Paris, 1723


Guillaume Delisle (1675-1726)
Marin (engraver)
Carte des Côtes de Malabar et de Coromandel
[Map of the Coasts of Malabar and of Coromandel]
from Atlas de Geographie, Paris: 1723
Hand-colored engraving
17.25 x 22.5 inches, image
18.5 x 23.75 inches, plate mark
19.75 x 26.25 inches, overall

Map of the southern portion of present-day India and neighboring islands. This is a from Delisle’s atlas published in Paris in 1723, wherein most of the maps have the “Quai de l’Horloge” imprint. As such it is a earlier, rarer and thus more sought after version than those reissued by Buache or Covens & Mortier. The map covers the region from Gujarat and Bengal in the north to the southern tip, with a small portion of northern present-day Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, and the Maldives to the west of the Indian coast. The map’s title emphasizes the eastern and western coastlines, labeled “Côtes de Malabar” [Malabar Coast] and “Côtes de Coromandel” [Coromandel Coast] respectively. These coasts held great importance to seagoing European countries as locations for trade. Of further interest to traders, the map shows rivers, roads along the coasts and into the interior, with towns and cities marked pictorially with buildings. Mountain ranges and forests are also indicated pictorially. Geographic locations are labeled in detail, occasionally also captioned with comments noting the presence of features such as the diamond mine at “Raolconda” [Golconda], a “famous pagoda,” and the palaces of regional leaders. Boundaries of Indian states are thinly outlined in watercolor in red, yellow, and green. The Bay of Bengal and Coasts of “Gergelin” and “Orixa” [Orissa] are also labeled in the ocean to the east.

Product description continues below.


There is a Baroque cartouche lower right, framing the full title and dedication to King Louis XV of France, with publication credits below it. Above the Maldives are five distance scales, showing distances between France and Germany to India and between the Malabar and Coromandel Coasts. There is a pair of compass roses, one on each side of the map, with notes about magnetic variation. The map is surrounded by a graduated longitude and latitude scale, and a light grid of longitude and latitude lines crosses the map.

Guillaume Delisle, appointed Royal Geographer in 1718, was the leading French cartographer of the early 18th century, and certainly among the most influential. He was known for his prolific output — over 100 maps — and his exceptional accuracy. From his first atlas, published at age 25, Delisle made an effort, unprecedented in his era, to base his work on verifiable, current data and to correct prevalent fallacies, such as the depiction of California as an island. His maps and atlases were frequently reissued after his death by Philippe Buache, Phillippe’s nephew Jean Nicolas Buache, and J.A. Dezauche. The Amsterdam publishers Covens and Mortier also reissued Delisle maps in the 18th Century. In addition, Delisle maps served as inspiration for derivatives by the German cartographers Jeremias Wolff and Matthäus Seutter.

Distance scale captions:

Lieues communes de France de 25 au degré.
Lieues marines de France de 20 au degré.
Milles ou Lieues d’Allegmagne de 15 au degré.
Cosses ou Lieues communes des Indes de 40 au degré.
Gos ou Lieues de Malabar et Coromandel de 10 au degré.

[Common leagues of France from 25 to the degree.
Nautical leagues of France from 20 to the degree.
Miles or Leagues of Germany from 15 to the degree.
Pods or Common Leagues of the Indies of 40 to the degree.
Gos or Leagues of Malabar and Coromandel of 10 to the degree.]

Full publication information: Presentée au Roy. Par son tres humble, tres obeissant et tres fidele sujet, G. Delisle. A Paris, chez l’Auteur G. Delisle Premier Geographe de Sa Majesté, de l’Academie R’le. de’ Sciences, sur le Quay de l’Horloge. Av. Pr. 1723. Marin Sculpsit.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling.  Center vertical fold as issued.


Tooley, Mapping of America p.1-28.; Martin & Martin, 14 & 19; Wheat 99; Cumming 170.

Additional information


16th Century