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2006 Catalog > Henri Chatelaine, Carte de la Nouvelle France

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6. Henri Chatelain. “Carte de la Nouvelle France, où se voit le cours des Grande Rivieres de S. Laurens & de Mississipi” (Amsterdam: 1719). Published in Atlas Historique. Copperplate engraving in black and white, as issued. 15 x 18 1/2" at neat line. Sheet size: 17 1/4 x 21 1/4". Three insets: the coast of Louisiana, especially the Mississippi Delta (u. l.), plan of Quebec City, bird’s-eye view of Quebec (l. r.). Very faint darkening at centerfold. Overall, fine condition for this exceptional map.

Price: SOLD.

Chatelain’s highly detailed map of the inhabited parts of North America is a reduction of Nicholas de Fer’s important four-sheet map published just the year before and based on Delisle’s landmark 1703 Carte du Mexique et de la Floride. The map illustrates the relationship among the French, English, and Spanish claims on the continent. Chatelain issued the map in volume six of his seven-volume Atlas Historique, published between 1705 and 1720. The map was created to promote the interests of the Compagnie Françoise Occident, a trading company ostensibly established to encourage the development of the Louisiana Territory. In reality, the Compagnie was a financing scheme and initially was a spectacular success—until it collapsed after a bank run in 1720, plunging France and Europe into a severe economic crisis. The episode became notoriously known as the “Mississippi Bubble.” Nonetheless, Chatelain’s map proved very successful and was later reissued by Van Keulen, Seutter, and Ottens. The map offered here is a superb example and well illustrates his cartographic skills. It shows great detail for the Mississippi and Great Lakes regions and also includes many fascinating tiny vignettes of Indian villages, annotations, and sailing ships.

Refs.: Phillips, Maps, p. 567; Verner and Stuart-Stubbs, The Northpart of America, no. 11 (illus.).

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