(Image: 19 x 27 ½’’) “L’AMERIQUE MERIDIONALE ET SEPTENTRIONALE…” Paris: Guillaume Danet, c. 1731. Fine engraved map with old hand-coloring. One of the most distinctive and decorative maps of the 18th century! Lower margin strengthened at centerfold. Ref: Tooley – Dictionary of Mapmakers, Revised Ed., Vol 1, p. 331.
Very elegant and scarce map – separately issued and found in only a few composite atlases!! This attractive historical map was published in Paris at a time when France was leading both in scientific mapping and cartographic artistry. It shows the Americas and part of western Europe and the northwestern African continent. Countries/European possessions are identified and the Line of Demarcation is shown through South America. The borders are vignettes of national symbols, signs of the Zodiac, and portraits of important figures in world exploration. In the lower left is a legend which describes the history of American discovery. The mythical Northwest Passage is clearly shown. The highly elaborate title cartouche depicts two angels supporting the French Royal Coat-of-Arms. Beneath them are two seated men: a mythological figure surrounded by items representing knowledge, exploratory tools, and European treasures; and a Native American surrounded by items and animals found in the New World. A long list of “Remarques” in lower left describe the explorers depicted in the border.