Auction 119, Lot 572

"[Lot of 5 - Fortification Plans]", Fer, Nicolas de

Subject: France

Period: 1720 (circa)

Publication: Les Forces de l'Europe

Color: Hand Color

11 x 8 inches
27.9 x 20.3 cm

Nicolas de Fer held the title of geographer at Louis XIV's court. He was one of the most prolific publishers of plans of European cities in the late seventeenth century. The fortifications plans in Les Forces de l'Europe were designed to teach fortification techniques. Engraved by Van Loon and Schoonebeek after French engineers under the command of Vauban, the renowned military architect. The illustrations often include a description and a legend with the principal buildings; each city plan includes both fortifications and street layout.

Attractive group of plans detail French fortifications in the 17th century. Sizes vary slightly.

1) Lentree, du Port de Marseille, et le Plan de la Citadelle, et du Fort, de St. Iean. Situee sur la Mer Mediterranee, en Provence… details the Fort Saint-Jean and the Citadel that protected the town in Marseille.
2) Beffort Fortresse Situee au pied des montagnes de Vauge… shows the fortifications at Belfort in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France.
3) Haguenau Ville Forte de la Basse Alsace Situee Sur la petite Riviere… descibes the fortifications of this town in Alsace and mentions the peace treaty of 1648 that brought an end to the Thirty Years War.
4) Abbeville est une Ville Considerable Capitale du Comte de Ponthieu du Gouvernem Generale de Picardie… shows the fortifications of the town of Abbeville, located on the Somme River in the Picardy region of northern France.
5) La Rochelle Ville Considerble Port sur la Mer Oceane… notes the damaged fortifications of the former Huguenot stronghold located on the Bay of Biscay. Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII routed the Huegenots here in 1628, as noted in the cartouche.

References: Pollak #21, p. 40.

Condition: B

All good with a few scattered spots of foxing. The left binding edges are a little ragged, but all are sufficient for framing.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $550

Closed on 5/9/2007