Catalog Archive
Auction 173, Lot 268

"Atlas National Illustre des 89 Departements et des Possessions de la France...", Levasseur, Victor

Subject: Atlases, France

Period: 1872 (published)


Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 20.4 inches
36.3 x 51.8 cm
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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, cherubs practicing the arts and sciences, and more. In addition to the individual French departments the atlas contains maps of the world, five continents, Oceania and French Colonies, for a total of 102 single-page maps. The map of North America shows the United States extending into Canada in the Pacific Northwest, despite the fact that the Oregon Boundary Dispute had been settled decades earlier. France was an ally to the U.S. and supported their position in the Fifty-four Forty or Fight dispute. This fine and complete atlas is filled with maps that have lovely decorated borders that relate to the region, including statistical information, regional products, famous local people, indigenous animals, and places of interest. Rebound in green faux leather with new endpapers and a portion of the original leather spine with raised bands and gilt tooling.


Condition: A

The maps all have contemporary color, and nearly all are in "A" condition with light toning along the edges of the sheets. A few maps are in "B+" condition with light soiling, including the maps of North America, Asia, and Oceania. The map of the department of Tarn has a large coffee stain. The new covers are in excellent condition.

Estimate: $800 - $950

Sold for: $600

Closed on 6/5/2019