French Map Showing the Newly Independent United States of America

Final Issue of a Monumental Map with Important Revisions to Reflect “the World Turned Upside Down”

The “Staying Alive” Issue

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279. [MAP]. DELISLE, Guillaume [Insulanus] & Philippe Buache (after). DEZAUCHE [Jean Claude]. Carte du Mexique et des Etats Unis D’Amérique, Partie Méridionale. Dressée sur un grand nombre de Memoires, et sur les meilleures Cartes du Pays. Assujetie aux Observations Astronomiques de Mrs. de l’Acadamie Royale des Sciences Par Guil. De L’Isle Iers Géogr. de l’Ac. Nouvellement Revuë et Augmentee Par Dezauche Successeur des Srs. De L’Isle et Phil. Buache premiers Géographes A Paris Rue des Noyers Année 1783. [below cartouche] Avec Privilège d’Auteur 1783. C. Simonneau fecit. [lower right below neat line] Ph. Buache P.G. de R. de l’A.R. de S. Gendre de l’Auteur Avec Privilege. Paris, 1783 [1789 or later]. Copper-engraved map showing the area from the Great Lakes to Colombia and from the Gulf of California to Trinidad; on two sheets of laid paper with watermark at left (reading in part TR and heart); title at lower left within elaborate cartouche with allegorical figures, serpents, cornucopia; original outline coloring; neat line to neat line: 47.6 x 65 cm; overall sheet size: 54.3 x 75.5 cm. One vertical crease where formerly folded, light staining in blank margins, small light water stain at upper center, otherwise fine, with good color. Contemporary ink notation “34” on verso (in the Bibliothèque et Archives Canada copy of Atlas géographique des quatre parties du Monde par Guillaume de L’Isle et Phil Buache [1769-1799], the map is No. 34).

     Last issue of the Delisle’s 1703 map (Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terres Angloises et des Isles Antilles du Cours et des Environs de la Riviere de Mississipi; see herein), with parts re-engraved from the first issue original (as evidenced by additional place names, changes in lettering, revised title, etc.); the first and only Delisle map recognizing the newly independent United States, as revised by Jean Claude Dezauche eighty years after the first edition (the Dezauche firm was preceded by the firm of Philippe Buache, son-in-law of Guillaume Delisle). Despite the date on the map, this copy probably issued in 1789 or later and reflects the chilling influence of the French Revolution in the removal of the words “du Roi” in the twelfth line of the cartouche after “Geographes”—evidence of the erasure can be seen under magnification (Tooley, America #115, p. 38: “Another edition of [Dezauche’s] atlas exists with references to royalty removed”). The United States extended westward to the Mississippi, boundaries were inserted in color to indicate different possessions: green for the United States, red for England, blue for France, and yellow for Spain (Tooley, America, p. 23 & #53 & pp. 38-39). Lowery 655. Phillips, America, p. 409. Phillips, Atlases 3512 & 5993 (citing atlas appearances of the map, 1769-1824). Among the changes indicated are the cession to Spain of what was once Louisiana, the various divisions of the Antilles, and the absence of New France, although that name still appears on the map. This map is an early French recognition and depiction of the newly independent United States. The Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783. The final boundaries of the United States were determined by the same Treaty in 1784.

     Mary Sponberg Pedley, in “The Map Trade in Paris, 1650-1825” in Imago Mundi,Vol. 33, 1981, p. 43: “Around 1779-1780, the Delisle Buache stock passed to J.-A. Dezauche who was also in charge of the entrepôt des cartes de la Marine on the rue de Noyers. Dezauche republished and corrected the maps of Delisle and Buache in addition to the official hydrographic charts of the depot.” See Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition), Vol. I, pp. 203-204 (Buache), pp. 353-355 (Delisle) & pp. 366-367 (Dezauche).


Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,225.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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