Catalog Archive

Auction 168, Lot 714

"Atlas National Illustre des 86 Departements et des Possessions de la France…", Levasseur, Victor

Subject: Atlases, France

Period: 1849 (published)


Color: Hand Color

15 x 21.5 inches
38.1 x 54.6 cm

Victor Levasseur's "Atlas National Illustre" and "Atlas Universel Illustre" are among the last decorative atlases published. The maps are all lavishly illustrated with scenes of the countryside, products and activities indigenous to the region.

This was one of the last decorative atlases ever produced. The finely engraved title page, which sets the stage for the beautiful maps to follow, is made up of several vignettes depicting famous land and sea battles, a portrait of Napoleon I, children practicing the arts and sciences, and more. In addition to the individual French departments the atlas contains maps of the world, continents, Oceania and French Colonies. In this example, Texas is still shown as a Mexican possession despite the 1849 published date. The United States is shown extending well into Canada in the Pacific Northwest. France was an ally to the U.S. and supported their position in the Fifty-four Forty or Fight dispute. Six more maps show the French colonial possessions of the time and another illustrates France as a whole. This almost complete atlas (missing table of contents and double-page map of France) is filled with maps that have lovely decorated borders that relate to the region, including statistical information, regional products, famous local people, and places of interest. Original quarter leather with tips, dark brown embossed and gilt cloth covers over boards, raised spine, all with tooling. Marbled end papers, engraved title page and 100 single-page maps.


Condition: B

The maps, in original color, are generally good with scattered foxing. Both hinges are starting and the covers and spine are scratched and abraded.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $450

Closed on 6/6/2018