2009 Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2009 Catalog > 17. Sartine “Rockport.”

An Important Map from the American Revolution.

17. Antoine de Sartine. “Carte Réduite des Côtes Orientales de l’Amérique Septentrionale Contenant Partie de Nouveau Jersey, la Pen-sylvanie, le Mary-land, la Virginie, la Caroline Septentrionale, la Caroline Méridionale et la Georgie.” (France: Depot General de la Marine, 1778). Engraving by Petit with beautiful hand color. 23 x 34" at neat line. Sheet: 24 1/2 x 35 1/4" with full margins. Very minor transference. Very minor marginal separations at centerfold, repaired. Minor marginal chip at l.l. A crisp impression in very fine condition.

Price: SOLD.

This highly detailed map of the east coast of North America was created by order of Antoine de Sartine, Secretary of State for the French navy, and published in the same year that France joined America in its war with the British. By 1778, British military forces were focused precisely within the realm of this map—from the Delaware Bay to the St. John River in Florida. While the primary purpose of this map was navigational, it includes not only compass lines and finely detailed coastlines and river systems, but also topographical indications drawn through to the Appalachian Mountains, and details of settlement. Originally prepared for the atlas Neptune America-Septentrional the map was also issued separately, as in this example. We may assume that the map was issued separately because it illustrated the entire area of engagement at this point in the American Revolution, and would have been of general interest.

Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de Sartine, comte d’Alby (1729–1801) had served as the Lieutenant General of Police of Paris before becoming Secretary of State for the French navy. The secret police that he established were internationally famous, and he was often called upon by foreign governments to assist in the apprehension of fugitives, and the like. As Secretary of State, de Sartine increased the naval budget fourfold in anticipation of a conflict with the British. It was also at this time that de Sartine ordered a series of updated nautical charts, including the present example. When the French entered the American War of Independence, de Sartine’s secret police were also engaged in the war effort. In all, de Sartine played a highly important role at this critical juncture in American history.

The strategic role that this beautiful map served in the American War of Independence and its commission by one of the war’s key players make this a highly significant document in American history.

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