French Ambitions in North America, Cartographically Expressed

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291. [MAP]. [FER, Nicolas de (after)]. [CHÂTELAIN, Henri Abraham]. Carte de la Nouvelle France, où se voit le cours des Grandes Rivieres de S. Laurens & de Mississipi aujour d’hui S. Louis, Aux Environs des-quelles se trouvent les etats, Païs, Nations, Peuples &c. de la Floride, de la Louïsiane, de la Virginie, de la Marie-Lande, de la Pensilvanie, du Nouveau Jersay, de la Nouvelle Yorck, de la Nouv. Angleterre, de l’Acadie, du Canada, des Esquimaux, des Hurons, des Iroquois, des Ilinois &c. Et de la grande Ile de Terre Neuve: Dressée sur les Memoires les plus Nouveaux recueillis pour l’etablissement de la Compagnie Françoise Occident. [below title at left in rectangular box, map of the Gulf of Mexico from Atchafalaya River to St. Joseph Bay, Florida, and the ruins of Fort Charles] Les Costes de la Louisane depuis la Baye de L’Ascension jusques a celle de St. Joseph... [below title at right] Tom: VI. No. 23. Pag. 92. [inset at lower right] Les Environs de Quebec, Ville Capitale de la Nouvelle France... [inset at lower left below preceding inset] Veue de Quebec... [inset text at center of left margin] Remarques. Des deux fameuses rivieres... [very busy assortment of embellishments, 3 compasses, numerous ships, sea monster, Native village in New Mexico, Native in canoe, Natives in a circle watching another dance in the middle, hunting scenes, usual bull in Texas, etc., etc.]. [Amsterdam: Henri Abraham Châtelain, 1710. Copper-engraved map mounted on fresh linen; border to border, including title at top: 41.5 x 48.2 cm; overall sheet size: 44.7 x 52.6 cm. Very fine.

     This map appeared in Henri Abraham Châtelain’s Atlas Historique (Amsterdam, 1719), Vol. 6, and here it is reduced from De Fer’s landmark four-sheet map of 1718 (McCorkle 1718.2). Likely De Fer created his map to promote the Compagnie Françoise Occident and French emigration to America, leading to the Mississippi Bubble. Kershaw, Early Printed Maps of Canada II: 332-333. McCorkle, New England in Early Printed Maps 719.4: “The frame around the views distinguishes this map.,..from a very similar one published separately the same year [on p. 83 McCorkle illustrates the present map along with the variant border for the subsequent map, which is her entry 719.5]. Verner & Stuart-Stubbs, The North Part of America 11.

     It appears that Châtelain had an aversion to blank spaces, or even breathing space on his maps. He goes for Baroque, with all its excessive love of detail and exaggeration to produce drama, tension, exuberance and grandeur. All of present-day Texas is shown on the map with parts of it meted out to “La Louisiane,” “La Floride,” and “Nouv. Mexique.” Texas is filled with detail, from rivers to a plethora of tribal locations to historical notes, such as mention of LaSalle. And appropriately, the animal chosen to represent Texas is a bull. ($1,000-2,000)

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

Auction 23 Abstracts

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