Catalog Archive
Auction 171, Lot 94

Nolin's Spectacular Version of Coronelli's Map of North America

"L'Amerique Septentrionale, ou la Partie Septentrionale des Indes Occidentales. Dressee sur les Memoires les Plus Nouveaux...", Coronelli/Nolin

Subject: Colonial North America

Period: 1689 (dated)


Color: Black & White

23.3 x 17 inches
59.2 x 43.2 cm
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From 1681 to 1683 Vincenzo Maria Coronelli worked in Paris to construct a massive pair of globes for Louis XIV. During this time he had access to court documents including the manuscripts of La Salle. He also made the acquaintance of Jean Baptiste Nolin, who was the royal geographer. Upon his return to Venice in 1684, he became royal cosmographer of the Republic of Venice, and began compiling maps for his great atlas, the Atlante Veneto. He prepared two-sheet maps of both North and South America in 1688 for inclusion in this atlas, which was first published in 1691. In 1689 with the agreement of Coronelli, Jean Baptiste Nolin published reduced-sized, single sheet versions in Paris. They included all the important cartographic advances of the larger maps, but different French-style cartouches.

This spectacular map of North America features California as an island on the Foxe model with two indented bays at top. A note near the peninsula of Agubela de Cato speculates on the location of the Strait of Anian. A major cartographic innovation is the depiction of the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) emptying into the Gulf of Mexico rather than the Gulf of California. Another influential feature (though incorrect) is the depiction of the Mississippi River, which is located too far west and flanked by a massive mountain range. This information for the Mississippi was based on reports from the La Salle expedition. The Great Lakes are shown quite accurately for the time, with Lake Ontario named Frontenac. The Chesapeake Bay is shown a bit too wide, and the fictitious Lake May is noted just south of the Appalachians, which are an isolated group of mountains rather than a long range. There are numerous notations on the map regarding explorer's travels. The decorative cartouche incorporates two horns of plenty that empty their contents of treasure into the waiting hands of a native and a European. This is the second state, with "Corrrigee et augmentee par le Sr. Tillemon" added to the title cartouche, published circa 1690.

References: Burden #656; McLaughlin #99; Tooley (Amer) p. 124, #50; Wheat (TMW) #88.

Condition: B

Moderate toning and staining with two small worm holes in the Yucatan and just west of Jamaica. The map has been trimmed close to the neatline and pasted on a sturdy sheet, repairing a small hole west of Bermuda and several tears (a 3" tear in South America, a 2" tear in the north Atlantic Ocean, and a 1.5" tear in northern Mexico).

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,800

Closed on 2/6/2019