Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 440

"[Lot of 2] Nouvelle Carte de France, d'Apres les Dernieres Decouvertes des Savants et des Explorateurs [and] Nouvelle Geographie de la France", Yves & Barrey

Subject: France

Period: 1882 (published)


Color: Hand Color

29.1 x 20 inches
73.9 x 50.8 cm
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This humorous map of France was created by Albert Robida and engraved by Yves & Barret. Tongue-in-cheek imagery fills the map, including some with dark, aggressive undertones, such as cannons made of wine bottles and locals from Provence and Gascony boiling in large stews. Paris is depicted as a both a large "political" oven and a "government machine." Other whimsical illustrations are also included, such as women bathing by the seaside, a happy cow in Normandy, and picturesque castles. The island of Guernsey is represented by a caricature of French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. Surrounding the map are vignettes of important and historic French cities: Avignon, Paris, Rouen, Marseille, Le Puy, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Versailles, and Carcassonne. Below the map is satirical text describing France and its people. The French are described as "all beautiful, shapely, gracious, intelligent and spiritual" and those who don't possess all of these qualities combined have some "interbreeding" in their family history. It is also noted that although the French government changes from time to time, in all cases "either the government is annoying the people or the people are annoying the government." Paris is noted as having a good climate for umbrella merchants.

This broadside was published as a supplement to the 23 December 1882 edition of "La Caricature" magazine. The frontispiece of this issue of the magazine is included in this lot, and features a satirical illustration also by Robida and engraved by Yves & Barret. The illustration (9.0 x 11.8") centers on an anthropomorphic version of France -- a well-dressed woman wearing blue, white and red. A small politician is placing a liberty cap upon her head, and other politicians comb her long tresses. The humorous text below the image explains that France is bathed by the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel, and is watered (sometimes too much) by a number of rivers, which are depicted in the image as ladies hosing down France. The text also clarifies that the French love to talk about liberty, and that their current ideal seems to be liberty coupled with many obligations. This contradiction is perhaps exemplified by a man standing upon France's lap to insert a dynamite-filled pipe into her mouth.


Condition: B+

The map is a lovely example, issued folding and now professionally flattened and backed in thin, archival tissue to repair several short fold separations, tiny tears adjacent to the folds, and a a 6" tear through the vignette of Rouen at left. Professionally remargined at left to accommodate framing. The frontispiece is clean and bright ("A" condition) with some minor tears along the left edge where it was removed from the magazine.

Estimate: $350 - $425


Closed on 9/14/2022