AN OUTSTANDING AND UNCOMMON 19TH-CENTURY CASE MAP OF SOUTH AMERICA
Eugene Andriveau-Goujon. “Amérique
du Sud,” (Paris: E. Andriveau-Goujon, 21 Rue de Bac, 1868).
Steelplate engraving with superb full original hand color. 52 3/4 x
36 3/4" at neat line with full margins. Sectioned and mounted
on linen for separate issue as a case map. Slip case and internal
folder composed of marbled paper over boards. Leather label with gilt
title pasted on spine: “Amérique du Sud.” Includes
inset of “Îles Galapagos.” Publisher’s
decorative paper label pasted on verso of first panel: “E.
Andriveau-Goujon / Géographe / Editeur.” Very slight
surface soiling. Otherwise fine condition for map and slip
This large-scale, separately issued French case map beautifully showcases
South America during the height of European colonialism. Foreign
possessions are indicated in full, bright color, and the color-coded
key identifies French, British, and Dutch holdings. The map covers an
area extending from the Isthmus of Panama and the Island of
Martinique in the north to the Falkland group southeast of Tierra del
Fuego. Details include state capitals, provinces, major towns,
villages, and railroads. Topographical features such as the great
Andean mountain chain are outstandingly documented and strikingly
the first spectacular sixteenth-century journeys by Spanish and
Portuguese in search of gold and silver, development and exploration
in South America lost momentum. For more than 200 years, cartographic
detail of the region was limited generally to the coastlines, while
the interior of the continent appeared as impenetrable jungle, except
in Columbia and Peru where Europeans had encountered advanced
civilizations. Even when the Spanish colonists acquired better
information, little of it was published because of the secrecy
surrounding their colonial activity.
that extensively documented inland South America, such as the present
one, became possible only after Alexander von Humboldt made his epic
journeys in the rain forests of Venezuela along stretches of the
Orinoco and Amazon Rivers. He recorded his findings in the highly
influential Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland, published in 1805.
The book added much new data and restimulated interest in South
America, creating a market for travel there and for maps such as this
present map is a fine specimen of the pocket-book or case-map genre,
in which separately issued maps were dissected, mounted on linen, and
folded into slip cases. Less cumbersome than the bound atlas, the
format offered portability and the leeway to produce maps on a larger
scale and with greater detail. Because such maps were intended for
practical use, they were revised more frequently than their atlas
counterparts, thus offering the most up-to-date information.
An outstanding example of its type, Andriveau-Goujon’s “South
America” is a superb evocation of its era and especially of the
burgeoning nineteenth-century interest in the lands south of the
Refs.: Christie’s Antique Maps, pp. 248–253; Potter, Antique Maps, 167–168.