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2006 Catalog > Nicolas Sanson d’Abbeville, America Settentrional

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2. Nicolas Sanson d’Abbeville. “America Settentrional di N. Sanson” (Italy: N. Sanson, 1683? [1686]). Italian text. Copperplate engraving with old hand color. 5 1/2 x 6 1/2" at neat line. Very faint soiling in margins; left margin uneven; faint crease in l. l. quadrant. Overall, excellent condition with strong color.

Price: SOLD.

In about 1657, the important French cartographer Nicholas Sanson published a small map of North America that included many features of his larger, more famous maps of 1650 and 1656. Chief among these was the depiction of California as an island—Sanson’s version of which set the style for the next fifty years. The present map appears to be an unrecorded Italian version of Sanson’s small North America. McLaughlin notes editions of this map (with its distinctive California coastline) in French, Dutch, and Latin, but he does not mention one in Italian. The present example is substantially revised with Italian nomenclature throughout and different cartographic features including an unusual configuration for Florida. A wonderful example of this unrecorded and rare variant of Sanson’s fascinating small North America.

Refs.: Leighly, California as an Island, no. 28, plate IX; Martin and Martin, Maps of Texas and the Southwest, p. 83; McLaughlin and Mayo, The Mapping of California as an Island, nos. 89 and 90; Tooley, Mapping of America, p. 114, nos. 7 and 8; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. I, no. 51 (French version).

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