Catalog Archive
Auction 186, Lot 16

Rare First State of De Fer Two-Sheet Map of the World

"Mappe-Monde, ou Carte Generale de la Terre, Divisee en Deux Hemispheres...", Fer, Nicolas de

Subject: World

Period: 1700 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

27.7 x 17.3 inches
70.4 x 43.9 cm
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This separately published world map is described within the surrounding text as a reduced version of a map prepared several years earlier, a four-sheet map made by De Fer and Hendrik van Loon in 1694. The text also purports that this map is the first to be based upon celestial observations of the Royal Academy of Sciences, although several earlier maps make the same claim. The map features California as an island with an indented northern coastline. The northwest region of North America is left blank. The coast to the east of Korea stretches off the map in the direction of North America with a notation that the coast is based on reports from the Portuguese. Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand are tentatively drawn with Australia nearly connected to New Guinea.

Surrounding the map are vignettes of thunder, lightening, tides, a lunar eclipse, and a volcanic eruption. The text at top right explains various terms of measurement and their conversions. Below the hemispheres is a table outlining 30 different measurements for the length of a foot based on the specific definitions within different towns throughout Europe. De Fer also explains some of the errors made by previous cartographers and explorers that have been corrected on his new map of the world, including that of Isle des Chiens in the South Pacific. Elegantly engraved on two separate plates by Hendrik van Loon, here printed on a single sheet. This is the first state.

References: Shirley #600.

Condition: A

Excellent impression on watermarked paper with a few minor, unobtrusive spots and marginal toning and soiling. There are professional repairs to several small tears and chips confined to the blank margins, not affecting map.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 2/9/2022