Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 486

"Atlas National Illustre des 86 Departements et des Possessions de la France Divise par Arrondissements, Cantons et Communes...", Levasseur, Victor

Subject: France, Atlas

Period: 1856 (published)


Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 21 inches
36.3 x 53.3 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 86 individual French departments, the atlas contains maps of the world (a double-page example in this edition), continents, Oceania and French colonies. The map of North America names and depicts Texas as independent even in this 1856 edition. The United States is shown extending well into Canada in the Pacific Northwest. France was an ally to the U.S. and supported their position in the Fifty-four Forty or Fight dispute. Six more maps show the French colonial possessions of the time and a double-page map at the back of the atlas illustrates France as a whole (Nouvelle Carte de la France). 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, and places of interest. Original quarter leather, red embossed and gilt cloth covers over boards, raised spine, all with tooling. Marbled end papers, engraved title page, table of statistics, 98 single-page maps and 2 double-page maps.


Condition: B+

The maps are near fine with contemporary outline color and occasional minor soiling in the margins. Title page is partially detached with an old stamp in the top corner on verso. Front hinge is starting. Covers are partially sunned with shelf wear and a few gouge marks.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $500

Closed on 9/15/2021