Catalog Archive
Auction 187, Lot 131

Rare First State of Delisle's Seminal Map of Canada and the Great Lakes

"Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France et des Decouvertes qui y ont ete Faites Dressee sur Plusieurs Observations et sur un Grand Nombre de Relations Imprimees ou Manuscrites", Delisle, Guillaume

Subject: Colonial Northeastern United States & Canada, Great Lakes

Period: 1703 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

25.6 x 19.8 inches
65 x 50.3 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This is the rare first state of Delisle's map of Canada and the Great Lakes, one of the most outstanding and influential maps of the eighteenth century. The Great Lakes are portrayed correctly for the first time, and Detroit marks its debut on this map, only two years after its founding. Delisle's cartography is very meticulous and adds new information from Joliet, Franquelin, and the Jesuit explorers. It correctly positions the Ohio River but confuses its name with the Wabash River. West of the Mississippi Lahontan's fictitious Riviere Longue is prominently depicted. In Canada special attention is given to the rivers and lakes between Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence, and Lac de Assenipoils (Lake Winnipeg) connects to Hudson Bay. Sanson's three islands of the Arctic are retained. Exquisite cartouche with a beaver, natives (one of whom is bearing a scalp), a priest, and friars, engraved by Guerard. The first state is distinguished by the "Rue de Cannettes prez de St. Sulpice" imprint in the cartouche.

References: Kershaw #308; Schwartz & Ehrenberg p. 135-136, Plt. 80; Tooley (Amer), p. 20, #35.

Condition: B

A crisp impression on a sheet with a Society of Jesus (IHS) watermark. There are dampstains along the centerfold and edges of the sheet, as well as some extraneous creases. There is light toning and foxing along the sheet's edges and some tiny chips and a few short edge tears along the bottom edge of the sheet.

Estimate: $3,000 - $3,750

Sold for: $4,750

Closed on 4/27/2022