Manuscript Atlas of the World, French ca. 1560-1585
Lot 10
Sold for US$ 35,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
Manuscript Atlas of the World, French ca. 1560-1585 Manuscript Atlas of the World, French ca. 1560-1585 Manuscript Atlas of the World, French ca. 1560-1585
Lot Details
[Geographie du Monde]. [France, probably Paris, c.1565, watermarks PM within a pot dated to 1558]. Manuscript geographical treatise of the world, 84 pp (including 24 pp blank after the African section), on folded folio leaves, written in a fair French hand. Folio, 310 x 220mm. The manuscript decorated with 57 maps in sepia ink and green wash, mountains often shown in red with stylized symbols, most maps with accompanying descriptive geographical text. The leaves unstitched, but showing old stitching holes, modern folder. Some old dampstaining on final leaf affecting the upper margins of most leaves. section of the second leaf with a portion of the world map dropped out, a few small holes and occasional spotting at gutter.

AN INTERESTING 16TH CENTURY GEOGRAPHICAL TREATISE OF THE WORLD IN 6 SECTIONS, including an extensive section devoted to the Americas, decorated with 8 maps. In part unfinished with many of the geographical descriptions for the Asia Africa and the Americas not completed. The sections comprise:

The World: 3pp with 6 maps of the world, including the projections of Mercator, the double-hemisphere and the cordiform.
Europe: 21pp, 16 maps comprising general map of Europe, Spain (2), France(2), Germany (2), Italy (2), Scandinavia (2), Russia (2), Poland, Hungary and Greece.
The Islands of Europe. 18pp, 15 maps comprising British Isles, Ireland, Iceland, Gotland, Sardinia, The Majorcan Archipelago, Corsica, Elba, Ischia, Malta, Sicily, Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, and Crete.
Asia: 10pp, 8 maps comprising the general map of Asia, Middle East, the island maps of Rhodes, Cyprus and Scios (Turkish possessions), Tartary (including a definition of the Wall of China), Persia and a general map of South East Asia. most without descriptive texts.
Africa: 6pp. 4 maps comprising General map, Morocco, mouth of the Niger River, the island of Tercove.
Americas: 12pp versos blank, 8 maps comprising a general map of the pacific and the Americas, general map of North and South America, Chile, Patagonia, Brazil, Peru, New Spain (Central America), and New France (Canadas).

This treatise was probably drawn up by an educated amateur geographer, certainly connected with a religious order, almost certainly near Paris. Some of the geography is slightly archaic, almost historical. Although it seems unlikely that the scribe and draughtsman had seen any of the parts of Mercator's Atlas published up to that time (the definitive atlas of Ortelius was yet to be published), he does incorporate many names of places recently discovered. The depiction of Tartary with the wall of China (reports with exact positioning, from Jesuits in China, were only just coming back to Europe in the mid 16th century), and the Americas map includes the name Hochelago (Montreal) visited by Cartier in 1535.
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