De L’Afrique Figure XLII. / Ile. Bourbon

  • Translation

Article ID AF0440


De L’Afrique Figure XLII. / Ile. Bourbon


Map shows the island Réunion near Madagaskar.


ca. 1650


Mallet (1630-1706)

Alain Manesson Mallet (1630- 1706 ) was a French cartographer and engineer. He started his career as a soldier in the army of Louis XIV, became a Sergeant-Major in the artillery and an Inspector of Fortifications. He also served under the King of Portugal, before returning to France, and his appointment to the court of Louis XIV. His military engineering and mathematical background led to his position teaching mathematics at court. His major publications were Description de L'Univers (1683) in 5 volumes, and Les Travaux de Mars ou l'Art de la Guerre (1684) in 3 volumes. His Description de L'Universe contains a wide variety of information, including star maps, maps of the ancient and modern world, and a synopsis of the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in his text. It has been suggested that his background as a teacher led to his being concerned with entertaining his readers. This concern manifested itself in the charming harbor scenes and rural landscapes that he included beneath his description of astronomical concepts and diagrams. Mallet himself drew most of the figures that were engraved for this book.

Historical Description

Reunion Island Île de la Reunion means "island of the gathering". Until 1794 the island was called Île Bourbon, under Napoleon Île Bonaparte, then again until 1848 Île Bourbon. Reunion is just under 700 km east of Madagascar and, along with Mauritius and Rodrigues, is 200 km away and belongs to the Mascarene Islands, an archipelago discovered by Pedro Mascarenhas in 1511. The island, which was still uninhabited at the time, was first sighted by Arab seafarers who gave it the name Dina Maghrabin ("West Island"). The Portuguese seafarer Pedro Mascarenhas landed there on February 9, 1507, the name day of Saint Apollonia. Thereupon the island appeared on the maps of the Portuguese under the name Santa Apolonia. Around 1520, the discoverer began to conceptually combine Réunion with the neighboring islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues to form the Archipelago of the Maskarenes. At the beginning of the 17th century, the later Île de La Réunion became a stopover for English and Dutch ships heading for India. Finally, French landed on the island, which they in 1640 in the name of King Louis XIII. to a French possession declared: The king came from the noble family Bourbon and consequently the island Île Bourbon (Bourbon island) was baptized. The first permanent settlers settled around 1665. The governor of the island from 1735 to 1745, Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, made a decisive contribution to the further development of the Île Bourbon. After Napoleon I's decision to officially resume slavery on the island, she named him Île Napoléon in honor, but when the British occupied the island in 1810, they returned to the old name Bourbon, which continued after Napoleon's overthrow and the return of the Island to France in the Paris Peace and Friendship Tractate from May 1814 and in the Congress of Vienna in 1815 until the end of the Bourbon era through the French February Revolution of 1848 and the final abolition of slavery on the island. Since then, the island has been called Réunion again. Only the bourbon vanilla is reminiscent of the old name.

Place of Publication Paris
Dimensions (cm)16 x 10 cm
ConditionPerfect condition
TechniqueCopper print


13.50 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )