Catalog Archive
Auction 163, Lot 40

Rare First Issue of Landmark in American Cartography - First Printed Map to Accurately Depict the Mouth of the Mississippi River

"Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terres Angloises et des Isles Antilles du Cours et des Environs de la Riviere de Mississipi...", Delisle, Guillaume

Subject: Colonial Eastern North America & West Indies

Period: 1703 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

25.6 x 18.7 inches
65 x 47.5 cm
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This is the uncommon first edition of Delisle's important map of the region with the Rue des Canettes address. This important map is credited with accurately showing the course of the Mississippi River and its mouth for the first time. It was compiled partly from the reports of important French expeditions of La Salle, Bienville and Iberville. It is an attractive map that includes much of the present-day United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The map correctly shows the Great Lakes region, the English settlements along the East Coast, and the early Spanish and Indian settlements in what are now Texas and New Mexico. The early native settlement of Checagou (Chicago) is named on Lake Michigan, called Lac des Ilinois after the native tribe. The name of Checagou refers to the wild garlic that grew abundantly there. The map influenced later delineations of the Mississippi River by Seutter, Homann, Lotter and others for many years. The decorative cartouche was engraved by C. Simmoneau.

References: Cumming (SE) #137; Lemmon plt 16; Tooley (Amer) #48, p. 22; Wheat, pp 58-61; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, pl. 82.

Condition: B+

A sharp impression on watermarked paper with original outline color and later color in the cartouches and long the coastlines. There is light toning, scattered foxing, a printer's crease adjacent to the centerfold at bottom, and an extraneous crease along the centerfold at top. There is paper tape along the top edge of the map on verso.

Estimate: $3,500 - $5,000

Sold for: $2,500

Closed on 6/14/2017