Catalog Archive
Auction 157, Lot 114

Map Focusing on the Mississippi River and the "Mississippi Bubble"

"Accurata Delineatio Celeberrimae Regionis Ludovicianae vel Gallice Louisiane ol. Canadae et Floridae Adpellatione in Septemtrionali America Descriptae...", Seutter, Matthias

Subject: Colonial North America & Caribbean

Period: 1728 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

22.8 x 19.6 inches
57.9 x 49.8 cm

This bold map of the eastern part of North America focuses on the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. Like many maps of the period, Labrador and Baffin Island are rather confused. A large inset of the Gulf Coast shows many forts and Indian villages. The most interesting feature of the map is the elaborate title cartouche. It depicts an allegorical, satirical scene of the infamous Mississippi Bubble investment scheme with a female personification of Fortuna pouring jewels and riches forth, while she is perched precariously upon a ball, signifying the uncertainty of fortune. Cherubs above the cartouche are issuing stock for the company, and another group is blowing bubbles in the foreground surrounded by piles of worthless stocks. In the background, desperate investors climb a small tree and fling themselves out of it, and in the foreground more disconsolate investors wail and bemoan their fates as one tries to impale himself on his sword. Above them, a cherub upends an empty money-bag. The map is based on Nicolas de Fer's influential map of New France from 1718, and is nearly identical to Ottens' map circa 1719, with the exception that Seutter depicts an additional 100 miles farther south.

References: Portinaro & Knirsch #117.

Condition: B+

An excellent impression with full original color on watermarked paper. There is light toning and some very faint damp stains along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 5/4/2016