European Real Estate Chess Game in the Western Hemisphere

When the Mouth of the Mississippi was in Texas

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340. [MAP]. MORTIER, Pierre. [Title in decorative cartouche at upper right] Archipelague du Mexique ou sont les Isles de Cuba, Espagnole, Iamaïque, &c Par Pierre Mortier Geographe. A Amsterdam [title above top border] Teâtre de la Guerre en Amerique telle qu’elle est à present possedée par les Espagnols, Anglois, François, et Hollandois, &c. Nouvellement mis au jour, Par Pierre Mortier, Geographe Á Amsterdam. [inset map above cartouche, untitled map of the coast of Veracruz with the island of San Juan de Ulúa] La Vera Cruz [and] Isle de St. Iean Delua.[large (23.3 x 43 cm) untitled mountain scene at lower left, illustrating a naval battle on land and sea, with Natives and Europeans in red coats examining a treasure chest on the beach]. Amsterdam, [ca. 1703? (per Newberry: listed as Map No. 2 in Mortier’s Atlas nouveau des cartes géographiques choisies, 1703)]. Copper-engraved map on two separate sheets with their own borders, showing the Gulf of Mexico, Florida north to “Caroline Angloise,” Pacific Coast from south of Michoacan to Panama, Central America, Cuba, and the West Indies, with contemporary color (full in cartouche and title; outline on regions and countries), sea routes for gold and silver indicated by dotted lines; each sheet measures neat line to neat line: 57.5 x 51 cm; overall sheet size: 64 x 54 cm; overall sheet size for the 2 maps together: 64 x 108 cm. Very fine. Western sheet with ink notation “132” at upper left blank margin; eastern sheet with ink notation “133” in the same place.

     First edition. Lowery 257. Phillips, Atlases 2823. Subsequent editions by Covens and Mortier added insets of Veracruz, Havanna, and Bay of Porto Bello left of the cartouche. The region of South Texas is labelled “Louisiana aux Francois” with the Mississippi river flowing through its center to the Gulf of Mexico. Along Rio Bravo is the notation: “Le Peuple des Environs de Cette River est tousjours en Guerre avec los Espagnols.”

     This map represents the overseas conflicts that spilled out the War of the Spanish Secession (1701-1714), which went on for years in both Europe and the Americas as European powers jockied for power in various countries and areas.

     Pierre Mortier (1661-1711), mapmaker and engraver from the Northern Netherlands, travelled to Paris in 1681-1685 and in 1691 won the privilege of publishing maps and atlases by French publishers in Amsterdam. He was the father of Cornelis Mortier, who with Johannes Covens, established the great firm of Covens & Mortier. See Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition), Vol. III, p. 285.


Sold. Hammer: $1,900.00; Price Realized: $2,327.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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