Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

This very rare and important map is the first devoted to the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi region. It was first printed undated of which only one example survives. It is by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718), one of the greatest cartographers to come out of Italy and was published by Jean Baptiste Nolin (1657-1708) with whom he was in partnership in the 1680s in Paris. Nolin was an official engraver to King Louis XIV. The second state as here bears a finished date of 1688.

Beautifully engraved, it is the finest portrayal of the region since Nicolas Sanson’s ‘Amerique Septentrionale’, 1650, only requiring a little improvement in Lakes Michigan and Huron. It would remain the definitive map of the region for over fifty years. “The care and detail in preparation is apparent everywhere with numerous sources being drawn upon, such as Jolliet, Marquette, Hennepin, La Salle and Allouez. The conduit for this information was Jean Baptiste-Louis Franquelin, who was in charge of collecting all the cartographic information flowing out of North America. The whole bears a myriad of legends referring to points of interest and events. Lake Frontenac (Ontario) is named after the contemporaneous Governor of New France. Identified near Niagara Falls is Fort Conty built by La Salle in 1679. The north shore of Lake Erie indicates the three peninsulas for the first time in print. LAGO ILINOIS, ò MICHIGAMI first appeared on the Melchisedech Thévenot map of 1681. At its southern point is Chekagou R Portage, the first mention of the name on a printed map.

“Lake Superior is clearly derived from the account of Father Claude Dablon. LAC NADOVESSANS to its north-west derives from the account written by Louis Hennepin and published in 1683 of his travels with La Salle up the Mississippi 167980. Two further forts built by La Salle are identified, Fort des Miamis at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, which later would become Fort Saint-Joseph. Fort Creuecoeur was constructed on the shores of Lake Peoria on the Illinois River. The river is given its alternative name of Seignelay after Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Marquis de Seignelay, and the most formidable minister in France. Travelling north we pass the Misconsin River identified as the point at which in 1673 Marquette and Jolliet were the first Europeans to enter the Mississippi River. Further downriver the Missouri is labelled the Riu. Des Ozages, and the Riuiere Ouabache refers to the Ohio. Virtually the only error of judgement that can be labelled is the placing of a large mountain range along the western shore of the Mississippi, presumably a reference to the Rocky Mountains about which early explorers had already heard.” (Burden). In terms of its content quite probably pre-dates the Coronelli gores and the two-sheet North America, both issued in 1688. Provenance: from the collection of the Duke of York, with bookplate on the verso. Burden (1996-2007) 630; Heidenreich & Dahl (1980) pp. 8-9; Karpinski (1937) p. 110; Kaufman (1989) no. 12; Kershaw (1993-98) I nos. 157-8; Pastoureau (1984) p. 357; Shirley (2004) T.Nol-2a vol. 2 no. 51; Verner & Stuart-Stubbs (1979) no. 19.

NOLIN, Jean Baptiste

Partie Occidentale du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France ou sont les Nations des Ilinois, de Tracy, les Iroquois, et plusieurs autres Peuples; Auec la Louisiane ...

Paris, c.1687-[88]
450 x 600 mm., full early wash colour, one small wormhole at the centre fold restored.
Stock number: 8263


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