Catalog Archive
Auction 178, Lot 48

Sanson's Highly Desirable Atlas of the Americas with 15 Maps

"L'Amerique en Plusieurs Cartes Nouvelles et Exactes; et en Divers Traittez de Geographie & d'Histoire...", Sanson, Nicolas

Subject: Western Hemisphere - America

Period: 1699 (published)


Color: Black & White

13.7 x 9.1 inches
34.8 x 23.1 cm
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Beautiful edition of Sanson's famous atlas, complete with all 15 maps present. This edition was published by Joannes Ribbius and Simon de Vries with new maps engraved by Antoine de Winter, a Utrecht born engraver. The atlas includes the following maps:

A. Amerique Septentrionale. This is a charming little map of North America with California as an island embellished with a strapwork title cartouche. California is shown with an indented northern coastline in the Foxe form. The detached coastline to the northwest of California is named Terre de Iesso ou Ieco, rather than reflecting Sanson's earlier belief that it was an extension of the American continent. The R. de Nort drains into the Gulf of California from a large interior lake in the country of Les Apaches. The two western-most Great Lakes are left open-ended and Lake Erie remains unnamed.

B. Le Canada, ou Nouvelle France. This map of the French and English colonies in North America concentrates on the region of greatest French interest. The entire Great Lakes basin and the St. Lawrence River are shown in great detail. The most important aspect of the map is the first appearance of L. Erie, ou du Chat as a recognizable lake on an atlas map. This delineation influenced the cartography of the region for more than 100 years and was not superceded until Delisle's "Carte du Canada" in 1703. The map is also an outstanding source for Indian tribal names and locations. Two names (Aouentsiouaeron and Attiouandarons) appear here for the first time. Lake Superior and Michigan (Lac du Puans) are left open-end to the west.

C. La Floride. This influential map shows the Spanish and French possessions in the southern part of the United States. The map extends from the southernmost part of Virginia to the coast of what is now Texas. When first introduced by Sanson in 1657, this map was the first to use the name L. Erie in an atlas and to introduce several new rivers in Virginia. The French claims in the Carolinas are reasserted with the region named Floride Francoise, despite the region not having had any French presence for nearly 100 years. The place name Caroline is not related to the future English colony of Carolina. Instead it is a confusion between the French Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River, and Charlefort that was located near Port Royal.

D. Audience de Guadalajara, Nouveau Mexique, California, &c. This map again shows California as an island with a small peninsula (Agubela de Cato) above the island, two bays along the island's northern coast and two new place names, Tolaago and R. de Estiete. Sanson actually based this on information from the less well known map by Luke Foxe, but it was this map that influenced many other cartographers throughout the rest of the century. On the mainland there are new Indian tribes identified in the region of the R. del Norte, which flows southwest from a large inland lake.

E. Audience de Mexico.

F. Audience de Guatimala.

G. Les Isles Antilles.

H. Amerique Meridionale.

I. Terra Ferme, Nouveau Royme de Grenade, &c.

J. Guiane divisee en Guiane et Caribane.

K. La Perou et le cours de la Amazone.

L. Le Chili.

M. Le Bresil, dont la Coste est possedee par les Portugais et divisee en Quatorze Caitaineries...

N. Le Paraguay Subdivise en ses principales Parties.

O. Destroit de Magellan, Terre et Isles Magellanicques, &c.

Oblong octavo; 81 pp.; title page; 15 maps. The atlas was originally bound with the maps folding, and has been carefully rebound with paper added to the inside edge of the text pages to fit the oblong shape, allowing the folding maps to be laid-in unfolded. New hardbound binding in what appears to be 19th century calf with gilt decorations on covers and spine and marbled endpapers. A lovely example of a scarce and most desirable atlas.

References: Burden #545, #546, #575 & #576.

Condition: A

The maps are generally very clean and bright with dark impressions and occasional offsetting or printer's ink residue. The map of Chili is the only one that remains folding and has a tiny binding tear at right. The map of the Strait of Magellan is in good condition ("B") with a large stain and light toning along the old fold. Text is also clean and bright. The title page has an old manuscript brown ink signature and is nearly detached. Covers are moderately soiled with bumped corners.

Estimate: $5,500 - $6,500

Sold for: $4,250

Closed on 6/10/2020