Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 134

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 19.6 inches
65 x 49.8 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

Delisle's map of Canada and the Great Lakes is 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. This is the fifth state, with Delisle's address reading "sur le Quai de l'Horlage a l'Aigle d Or" and "Premier Geographe du Roy" added below Delisle's name, published circa 1718.

References: Kershaw #312; cf. Schwartz & Ehrenberg p. 135-137, Plt. 80; Tooley (Amer), p. 20, #38.

Condition: B+

Contemporary outline color with later color in the title cartouche on paper with the watermarks of the Society of Jesus and "P[heart]G." There is light printer's ink residue and remnants of masking tape on verso along the top and left sheet edges from a previous framing.

Estimate: $1,900 - $2,200

Sold for: $1,400

Closed on 2/8/2023