Depot de la Marine

Depot de la Marine

The Dépôt de la Marine, known more formally as the Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine, was the central charting institution of France. The centralization of hydrography in France began in earnest when Jean-Baptiste Colbert became First Minister of France in 1661. Under his watch, the first Royal School of Hydrography began operating, as did the first survey of France’s coasts (1670-1689). In 1680, Colbert consolidated various collections of charts and memoirs into a single assemblage, forming the core of sources for what would become the Dépôt.

The Dépôt itself began as the central deposit of charts for the French Navy. In 1720, the Navy consolidated its collection with those government materials covering the colonies, creating a single large repository of navigation. By 1737, the Dépôt was creating its own original charts and, from 1750, they participated in scientific expeditions to determine the accurate calculation of longitude.

In 1773, the Dépôt received a monopoly over the composition, production, and distribution of navigational materials, solidifying their place as the main producer of geographic knowledge in France. Dépôt-approved charts were distributed to official warehouses in port cities and sold by authorized merchants. The charts were of the highest quality, as many of France’s premier mapmakers worked at the Dépôt in the eighteenth century, including Philippe Bauche, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Rigobert Bonne, Jean Nicolas Buache, and Charles-François Beautemps-Beaupré.

The Dépôt continued to operate until 1886, when it became the Naval Hydrographic Service. In 1971, it changed names again, this time to the Naval and Oceanographic Service (SHOM). Although its name has changed, its purpose is largely the same, to provide high quality cartographic and scientific information to the France’s Navy and merchant marine.


1756 - Carte Reduite Des Mers Comprises Entre L'Asie et L'Amerique Apelees par les Navigateurs Mer Du Sud ou Pacifique . . . 1742 Cette Carte a ete Corrigee en 1756.

  • $14.99

French Chart of the Pacific Ocean on the Eve of the Great Voyages of Discoveries Fascinating sea chart, depicting the Pacific Ocean immediately before the wave of exploration that occurred from the 1760s to the 1790s. This fine chart, issued by the...


1807 - Carte Generale de la Nouvelle Hollande et des Archipels Du Grand Ocean, qui sont au norde et a l'est de cette terre; Dressee, en 1807, Pour servir au Voyage du Contre-Amiral Bruny Dentrecasteaux, fait, Par Ordre du Gouvernement, en 1791, 1792 et 1793; P

  • $14.99

Rare Separately Issued Example of the Entrecasteaux-eautemps-Beaupre Chart of Australia, New Zealand, etc. Remarkable sea chart of Australia, New Zealand and contiguous regions, extending to Borneo, Mindanao and the Straits of Malacca. Unlike most...


1840 - [From the Library of Captain Louis Freycinet] Carte Hydrographique Des Partes Connues De La Terre Dressee sur la Projection de Mercator, Poar C.LO. Gressier , Ingenieur Hydrographe de la Marine . . . 1835 (with extensive manuscript annotations)

  • $21.99

Annotated Sea Chart of the World Presented To The Explorer Louis Freycinet In Support of A Report to the French Academy of Sciences on The Prevailing Winds At Sea. Finely-detailed, sea chart of the world with extensive manuscript annotations,...


1776 - Carte Reduite Des Mers Du Nord Comprise entre le 48e et 72e Degré de Latitude Sept. . . . Par Mr de Verdunn de la Crenne, le Ch. de Borda et Pingré, Divisé et Gravé au burin par Petit. . . 1776

  • $21.99

Late 18th Century Scientific Expedition In the North Atlantic Important mid-18th Century sea chart of the North Atlantic, published by the French Depot de la Marine. Centered on Iceland, the map extends from Labrador, Newfoundland, and Baffin Island...


1834 - Carte De L'Ocean Atlantique Septentrionale (depuis l'Equateur jusqu'au 52eme. degree de Latitude) Redigee Par P. DAussy, Ingenieur Hydrographe en chef de la Marine . . . 1834

  • $21.99

French Naval Chart of the Atlantic Depicting a Storied Naval Career, Including the November 1861 Voyages of the Foudre and the SS Arago – Major Diplomatic Missions at the Outset of the American Civil War Spectacular, heavily annotated chart of the...


1868 - Black Rock et Bridgeport. . . . 1868

  • $14.99

Fine example of this rare French edition of Hassler's chart of the Harbors of Black Rock and Bridgeport, Connecticut, originally published for the United States Coast Survey. Striking example, published in Paris by Lemercier and priced at 75 French...


1834 - [Virginia, Carollinas, Georgia, Florida] Carte de la Cote Orientale De L'Amerique Septentrionale Partie Comprise Entre New York Et La Riviere Saint Jean ...1834

  • $9.99

Rare French Sea Chart of the Atlantic Coast, from New York City to the mouth of the San Juan River, in Florida. Includes 2 large inset maps, one of the Chesapeake Bay and one of New York Harbor, from Manhattan to Sandy Hook. The map is a fine example...


1800 - Carte Des Cotes Du Golfe Du Mexique Compris entre la Pointe Sud de la Presqu'Ile de la Floride et la Pointe Nord de la Presqu'Ile d'Yucatan . . . An IX.

  • $21.99

The First Modern French Sea Chart of the Gulf of Mexico Important early chart of the Gulf Coast and Florida, issued in the 9th Year of the French Revolution (An. IX.) The map was issued one year after the Spanish Carta Esferica and draws extensively...


1807 - Carte Generale du Golfe du Mexique et de L'Archipel des Antilles . . . 1807

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Detailed French Sea Chart of the Caribbean Fine and intricately-drawn French sea chart of the Spanish Main and the Caribbean, published in Paris in 1807. Drawn for the benefit of French vessels, as the cartouche in the upper right explains, the chart...


1843 - Carte du Golfe du Mexique Dressee par Mr. Keller, Ingenieur Hydrographe, d'apres les travaux les plus recents. . . . 1843

  • $21.99

A Well Used Sea Chart of Florida, Gulf Coast and the Caribbean French Sea Chart of Florida, the Gulf Coast, Mexico, Yucatan, the Bahamas, Cuba and the western Caribbean, published in Paris in 1843. The chart was used as sea, with what appears to be a...


1820 - [Matagorda Bay] Bahia De S. Bernardo

  • $14.99

French edition of the first separately printed sea chart of Matagorda Bay, first published in the Portulano de la America Septentrional, under the auspices of the Direccion De Hidrografia in Madrid. As noted by Streeter this map of Bahia de S....


1826 - Carte Reduite Des Cotes et du Golfe De Californie Depis le Cap Corrientes jusqu'au Port St. Diego . . . 1826

  • $21.99

Baja California Immediately After Mexican Independence Rare large scale map Baja California, prepared by the French Government, based upon a Spanish Chart published the preceding year. In addition to all of Baja California, the map depicts the area...


1755 - Carte Reduite des Cotes de l'Acadie de l'Isle Royale et de la Partie Meridionale de l'Isle de Terre Neuve ... 1751

  • $21.99

Large engraved mapsheet, comprising six inset maps related to the coast of Acadia and Ile Royale, published by Depot de la Marine in the mid-1750s. The maps are all credited to Mr. le Marquis de Chambert Capitaine des Vaisseaux.


1763 - Carte De L'Isle Saint Pierre Dressee au Depost des Cartes et Plans de la Marine . . . Par Ordre de M. Le Duc de Choiseul . . . M DCCLXIII

  • $21.99

Detailed sea chart of Saint Pierre, one of the small islands in the Grand Banks retained by France under the Treaty of 1783. The chart was produced by the Depot de la Marine toward the end of the Seven Years War (French & Indian War) . Following...


1763 - Carte Des Isles De Saint Pierre et Miquelon Levee par Ordre de M. Le Duc de Choiseul . . . 1763

  • $21.99

Detailed sea chart of the islands retained by France under the Treaty of 1783. The chart was produced by the Depot de la Marine toward the end of the Seven Years War (French & Indian War). Following the conclusion of the Seven Years' War, the...


1767 - Carte Reduite De La Partie Septentrionale De l'Isle de Terre Neuve . . . M DCC LXIV Corrigee en 1767 . . .

  • $14.99

Detailed sea chart of northern part of Newfoundland and the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. The chart was produced by the Depot de la Marine toward the end of the Seven Years War (French & Indian War).