Catalog Archive
Auction 123, Lot 864

"Memoires de l'Amerique Septentrionale ou la Suite des Voyages de Mr. Le Baron de la Hontan… [and] Dialogues de Monsieur le Baron de la Hontan et d'un Sauvage dans l'Amerique", Lahontan, Louis Armand

Subject: Exploration

Period: 1705 (circa)


Color: Black & White

4 x 6.5 inches
10.2 x 16.5 cm

Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan served ten years in the French military in Canada, was involved in the Indian Wars, and commanded several posts on the western frontier. He traveled extensively in the Wisconsin and Minnesota region and the upper Mississippi Valley. Upon his return to Europe he wrote this enormously popular travelogue. In it he embellished his knowledge of the geography west of the Mississippi and Great Lakes region, invented Indian tribe names, and created several fictions, particularly the "Riviere Longe" extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. Over twenty editions of his book were published between 1703 and 1741, including editions in French, English, Dutch and German. The immense popularity of the book resulted in his distorted cartography being accepted by several eminent cartographers who incorporated the "Lahontan" concepts into most of the maps of the period.

This is the second edition of the second volume only, which was issued both in a set with the first volume, or separately on its own. It contains two parts bound into one, and is complete with 16 uncolored, copper engraved plates including three maps; Carte General de a Petit Point (5.5" x 3.5"), Royaume de Portugal (6.5" x 9.8"), and Le Danemark Suivant les Dernieres Relations (7" x 10.5"). Most of the other plates are mostly North American scenes describing the customs of the Indians. Both decorative title pages are printed in red and black ink, and precede 331 and 221 pages of text respectively. 18 mo. Original brown calf, raised bands, gilt embellishments on spine, title and edges. Second edition, revised by Nicolas Gueudeville.

References: Howes L25 & 26.

Condition: A

Text and maps with very little foxing and only a couple very small fold separations. Boards and spine moderately worn with some loss at upper extremity. Corners with usual bumping. Binding and contents are all bound tightly.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $650

Closed on 2/20/2008