Catalog Archive
Auction 171, Lot 657

"L'Asie Dressee Selon les Dernieres Relations et Suivant les Nouvelles Decouvertes dont les Points Principaux sont Placez sur les Observations de Mrs. de l'Academie Royale des Sciences", Fer, Nicolas de

Subject: Asia

Period: 1705 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

23.5 x 18.3 inches
59.7 x 46.5 cm
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De Fer's large map of Asia includes numerous geographical misconceptions of the early 18th century. Most notably is the eastern extension of Asia across the northern Pacific Ocean with the notation that this coastline and the depiction of Japan were both taken from Portuguese maps and differed greatly from French maps. Another adjacent note that states that the land is known to those who travel from China to Nouvelle Espagne (Mexico), which is likely a reference to the alleged discoveries of Jean de Gama. The outline of Japan is very rudimentary with Hokkaido (Jeso) appearing in a ball shape. The Chimay Lacus (Lac Coconor. ou Chimoi et Zim) is depicted in Tibet with four rivers flowing south. The Caspian Sea is given a diamond shape, and further north Novaya Zemlya is only partially delineated. The map is filled with towns, political divisions, rivers, mountain ranges, a Royal Canal in northern China, and a road from Peking to Moscow. A large block of text in Africa explains the sources for the map, including Nicolas Witsen for his depiction of Tartary, the Jesuits and the gentlemen of the Academie Royale for China and Southeast Asia, and all other changes based on the discoveries of "modern explorers." Three decorative cartouches grace this map, featuring local street performers and a four-armed man at right and a woman eating noodles at left. Engraved by Herman van Loon and dedicated to the Children of France.

References: Yeo #83.

Condition: B+

A nice impression on watermarked paper with some chalk residue along the centerfold. There are a number of professional repairs, mostly confined to the centerfold and blank margins, including separations and a few small holes along the centerfold (with a minor amount of the image replaced in facsimile), and some chips and tears along the edges of the sheet, with several tears entering 1/2" to 2" into the image.

Estimate: $600 - $750


Closed on 2/6/2019