Riding the wave


M. Guillain and the expedition of the brig "The Ducouëdie"

Between 1846 and 1848 Lt. Cdr M. Guillain of the French Navy was ordered - by Romain Desfossés, the commander- in-chief of the naval division of Bourbon, to sail to Africa, aboard the brig "The Ducouëdie" and conduct a "thorough intelligent, exploration" of the country.

Mr. Loarer, Minister for Foreign Trade, participated in the expedition with the task of investigating the possibilities of trade along the eastern coast of the continent.

To this end, Lt. Cdr Guillain was instructed to collect and take home samples of all local products and likewise distribute samples of French products to the natives.

On his return he published Documents sur l'histoire, la géographie et le commerce de l'Afrique Orientale: relation du voyage d'exploration à la côte orientale d'Afrique executé pendant les années 1846-1848 par le Brick Ducouëdie (2 vol ., Paris, no date).

The report included an album with 53 plates of landscapes, portraits and views of the coast of great pictorial effect, plus a general map of the eastern coast of Africa, entitled Voyage / à la / Côte Orientale d'Afrique / executé / par le Brick Ducouëdie / sous le commandement / de / M. Guillain / Capitaine de Fregate / Publié par ordre du Gouvernment. / Album. Paris, Arthus Bertrand, éditeur, Libraire de la Société de Géographie, Rue Hautefeuille, 21, mm. 367 x 552.

The date pf publication - 1851 - appears on some of the tables, signed by A. Bayot, E. Ciceri, J. Jacottet and Sabatier. Some of the most attractive views are reproduced below.
(Genoa, Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute)

Dzaoudzi en 1848 Dzaoudzi en 1848, E. Ciceri, mm. 329 x 200
Ville de Muguedchou Vue de la Ville de Muguedchou (prise du mouillage en dehors).
E. Ciceri, mm. 420 x 180
The charts were reproduced in Coste del Mondo nella cartografia europea: 1500-1900, by Paola Presciuttini, Ivrea, Priuli & Verlucca, editors, 2000, 179 p., about 300 images.

Edited by
Paola Presciuttini, 2002