Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 12

"[Lot of 5] Mappe-Monde ou Carte Generale de la Terre [and] L'Amerique, Meridionale et Septentrionale [and] L'Afrique [and] L'Asie [and] L'Europe", Fer, Nicolas de

Subject: World & Continents

Period: 1717 (dated)

Publication: Introduction a la Geographie

Color: Hand Color

13.5 x 9 inches
34.3 x 22.9 cm

This appealing matched set of maps reflects several geographical myths that were prevalent at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Each is richly embellished with title and scale cartouches. Dedication (to the Children of France) cartouches are shown on the continent maps only. The maps originally appeared in De Fer's L'Atlas Curieux in 1700. The maps in this set are from the third state of the plates with the date changed in the imprint. Sizes are approximate.

1) Mappe-Monde ou Carte Generale de la Terre… Double hemisphere world map surrounded by medallion portraits of important explorers. California is depicted as an island, the Great Lakes are not completely formed; nor are Australia, New Zealand and the northeast coast of Asia.

2) L'Amerique, Meridionale et Septentrionale… This map of the Americas features a huge island of California that covers the entire west coast north of the Tropic of Cancer with two large imaginary islands off shore. One of the prominent features in northern Mexico is Les Mine de S. Iean et de Ste. Barbe, the legendary Santa Barbara mines of the Chihuahua-Durango region. There are several large spurious lakes on both continents. A partial coastline of New Zealand appears beside the title cartouche.

3) L'Afrique Dressee Selon les dernieres… This map of Africa shows the correct source of the Nile in the province of Tonkoua in Abyssinia, but retains the two large twin lakes south of the equator. Following his 1696 wall map, the continental outline is too wide in the south and has a distorted southwest coastline. The title cartouche includes a depiction of lime kilns.

4) L'Asie Suivant les Nouvelles Decouvertes… This interesting map of Asia depicts a continuous land bridge extending from northern Korea and eastern Siberia across to the American Northwest. The notation attributes this spurious information to Portuguese sources. New Guinea is incorrectly labeled Nouvelle Zeelande and the Caspian Sea is an unusual shape.

5) L'Europe Suivant les Nouvelles Observations….. This is a reduced version of De Fer's large map of Europe. It extends to include Asia Minor, the Middle East and the northern coastline of Africa. It also includes Spitzbergen and the coast of Greenland. The prime meridian runs through the Isle de Fer, as declared by King Louis XIII, since this island was considered the most western position of the Old World per Ptolemy's geography.

References: World - Shirley #601; America - Burden #759; McLaughlin #135; Africa - Betz #170; Asia - Yeo #82.

Condition: B+

Folded as issued and now flattened, with professional repairs on fold intersections and binding tears, with the binding trims replaced to accommodate framing.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,250


Closed on 2/16/2011