"[Lot of 5] Mappe-Monde... [and] L'Amerique... [and] L'Afrique... [and] L'Asie... [and] L'Europe...", Brion de la Tour/Desnos
Subject: World & Continents
Period: 1764-66 (dated)
Publication: Atlas General, Civil et Ecclesiastique, Methodique et Elementaire...
Color: Hand Color
A. Mappe-Monde Dressee sur les Nouvelles Decouvertes dont les Dernieres ont ete Faites en 1741, dated 1766 (13.2 x 9.8"). This small and elegant double-hemisphere world map is surrounded by numerous decorative elements including female personifications of the continents, Apollo riding his chariot, and both a solar and lunar calendar. This is the fourth state of the map that was first published circa 1700 per Shirley. This later edition has been updated to include a large Mer de l'Ouest and the region around the Bering Strait includes the Russian discoveries of Aleksei Chirikov and Louis De l’Isle de la Croyere. Further to the south, British colonial possessions are shown confined to the eastern seaboard with New France and Louisiana to the west of the Appalachians (despite the Seven Years War having concluded 3 years earlier). Spain is in control of the west and California is in peninsular form. Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania are all shown as connected with a partial coastline. A large conjectural Terres Australes is shown along with several notations, including the icebergs found by Bouvet de Lozier in 1738 and 1739. References: McGuirk #114; cf. Shirley #613.
B. L'Amerique Dressee pour l'Etude de la Geographie, dated 1764 (10.3 x 9.3"). While the interior of this map contains limited cartographic information, the northwest part of North America is quite interesting. A large bay labeled, Entree de Martin d’Aguilar en 1603 indents the coastline, while above that, a river and lake system provide a complex Northwest Passage. There is a notation that the existence of a Sea of the West is questionable just above this fictitious passage. Numerous ships fill the surrounding waters. Reference: McGuirk #130.
C.L'Afrique Dressee pour l'Etude de la Geographie, dated 1766 (10.4 x 9.3"). This handsome map is adorned by a decorative title cartouche and several ships under full sail. The interior of the map contains little geographical information, as is typical of the period. Large rivers are evident, but the larger lakes are not marked. The Nile flows from two small lakes, located in the Mts. de la Lune above the equator. In the south there is a minimum of place names and a few tribal names. Reference: Norwich #97.
D. L'Asie Dressee pour l'Etude de la Geographie, dated 1765 (10.2 x 9.1"). Very decorative map of Asia including all of Southeast Asia. The map is modeled on contemporary French sources, notably the work of Robert de Vaugondy. The seas are filled with a number of sailing ships, and there is a decorative (uncolored) cartouche surrounded in jungle with an elephant, peacock and monitor lizard.
E. L'Europe Dressee pour l'Etude de la Geographie, dated 1766 (10.1 x 9.1"). An attractive map of Europe with the Caspian Sea correctly oriented in a north-south direction. It is decorated with tiny sailing ships and a landscape-style title cartouche.
Louis Charles Desnos (1725-1805) was an important instrument, globe and map maker in Paris during the eighteenth century. In addition to his publishing work aimed at the French market, Desnos also held the position of Royal Globe maker to the King of Denmark. He worked with several other publishers including Zannoni and Louis Brion de la Tour and produced a great many cartographic works including numerous atlases and a series of decorative wall maps.
Crisp impressions on watermarked paper. The world map is lightly toned (B+), while the set of four continents has minor foxing mostly in the blank margins (A).