Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 269

First Edition of Sanson's Important Map of the American Southwest

"Le Nouveau Mexique, et la Floride…", Sanson, Nicolas

Subject: Colonial United States & Mexico

Period: 1656 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

21.5 x 12.3 inches
54.6 x 31.2 cm
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This is the first edition of this groundbreaking map, the first large-scale map to focus on the American Southwest and to focus on a huge island of California. The information Sanson used to develop his concept of the island of California is drawn from information taken from a map by Luke Foxe, which showed the twin indentations at the top of the island, here named Talaago and R. de Estiete. The unusual peninsula of Agubela de Cato is of unknown origin, and in fact shows up on maps well into the 1700's. This map was produced just as French influence in Canada and the Ohio Valley was expanding. Sanson calls the coastal area between the Florida peninsula and Virginia Floride Francois, the first such designation. In Florida, he restored some French Huguenot settlements that had been eliminated by the Spanish in 1568, but, as Tooley notes, he also changed place names from French to Spanish. This is also the first application of the name of Lake Erie for a recognizable lake, here called Erie Lac. Sanson drew a ring of mountains, which, along with his compressing the land south of Lake Erie, enabled the French claims in the region to be greatly expanded against the competing Spanish and English claims. The Mississippi empties into a small sea called the Mar Pequeno, just above the mouth of the river, perhaps referring to Lake Pontchartrain. The Rio Grande, here called R. del Norte, travels from a large lake near Taos to the Mar Vermeio.

References: Tooley (Amer) p. 115, #14; Burden #319; McLaughlin #17; Wheat (TMW) #50

Condition: A

Nice impression on watermarked paper with faint printer's ink residue is confined to the blank side margins.

Estimate: $5,500 - $7,000

Sold for: $4,000

Closed on 9/4/2013