Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 122

Delisle's Seminal Map of Canada and the Great Lakes

"Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France et des Decouvertes qui y ont ete Faites...", Delisle, Guillaume

Subject: Colonial Northeastern United States & Canada, Great Lakes

Period: 1703 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

25.5 x 19.6 inches
64.8 x 49.8 cm

Delisle's map of Canada and the Great Lakes is one of the most outstanding and influential maps of the eighteenth century. The Great Lakes are portrayed correctly for the first time, and Detroit marks its debut on this map, only two years after its founding. Delisle's cartography is very meticulous and adds new information from Joliet, Franquelin, and the Jesuit explorers. It correctly positions the Ohio River but confuses its name with the Wabash River. West of the Mississippi Lahontan's fictitious Riviere Longue is prominently depicted. In Canada special attention is given to the rivers and lakes between Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence, and Lac de Assenipoils (Lake Winnipeg) connects to Hudson Bay. Sanson's three islands of the Arctic are retained. Exquisite cartouche with a beaver, natives (one of whom is bearing a scalp), a priest, and friars, engraved by Guerard. This is the fourth state, with Delisle's address reading "sur le Quai de l'Horlage a l'Aigle d Or," and the additional note above the distance scales erased except for the word "Bourse."

References: Kershaw #311; cf. Schwartz & Ehrenberg p. 135-137, Plt. 80; Tooley (Amer), p. 20, #37.

Condition: B+

On watermarked paper with original outline color, minor offsetting, and a couple of light, small stains along the centerfold. Narrow top margin, as issued. Manuscript page number in top right corner.

Estimate: $2,200 - $2,500

Sold for: $1,400

Closed on 5/20/2015