Auction 129, Lot 139

"Carte Mineralogique, ou l'on voit la Nature des Terreins de Canada et de la Louisiane, Dressee par Philippe Buache…1752 [and] Carte Mineralogique de la Suisse par Philippe Buache pour servir aux recherches et pour un Memoire de Mr. Guettard en 1572", Guettard, Jean Etienne

Subject: Colonial United States and Canada - Switzerland and Geology

Period: 1761 (published)


Color: Black & White

12 x 10.5 inches
30.5 x 26.7 cm

These two rare maps are still bound in the original Premiere Suite des Memoires de mathematique et de Physique… Tome Second by Jean Ttienne Guettard. The first map represents Guettard's efforts to create the first geological map of North America. Drawn by Philippe Buache, the map has an ambitious legend identifying an amazing 39 different geological formations and types. The map also has interest for its inclusion of the cartographic curiosity Mer de l'Ouest (Sea of the West) that is shown as occupying part of western Canada. This imaginary feature appeared in a series of Buache's maps of North America and its derivatives, each showing the sea shrinking in size and prominence as continuing exploration failed to prove its existence. The inset map at lower left notes eight places containing fossils. The second map is "Carte Mineralogique de la Suisse par Philippe Buache pour servir aux recherches et pour un Memoire de Mr. Guettard en 1572", (13 x 9.5"), uncolored. This map, also drawn by Buache, is the first geological map of Switzerland. It extends from Geneva in the southwest to Constance in the northeast. It identifies even more categories of geological formations than the map of North America, over fifty by our count.

The book (4" x 6.5'") also has four engraved plates depicting fossils including a fish and the tooth of a Mastodon. This volume is the 1761 Amsterdam reprint by Jean Etienne Guettard, J. Schreuder and Pierre Mortier. The first edition was published from Paris in 1756. Volume 2 (of 3) pp. 176 to 595. Original brown marbled paper covered boards with leather spine, gilt title and raised bands. Red page edges, marbled endpapers. This rare volume is complete with all plates and both maps as issued. It represents a pioneering effort in early geology.

References: 1) Marcou No. 24

Condition: B+

The first map has overall foxing (B), the latter is very good (A). The covers have slight shelf wear, a small puncture to upper edge of rear board, and light scraping to lower front board. Hinges sound and binding tight. The text and plates are clean and unmarked except for some light foxing and offsetting.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500

Sold for: $2,100

Closed on 9/23/2009