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VetusCarta
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rare antique maps, books and atlases
rare antique maps, books and atlases

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Majestic rare map by Senex of North America.

A stunning map of North America that encompasses the Arctic all the way to the top most part of South America. Senex’s map is derived from Guillaume de l’Isle’s maps of North America that were published between 1700 and 1703. As such, it has been argued that his map “would have been among the first exposures of the British public to many of the new cartographic ideas about North America advocated by de l’Isle.” These new cartographic ideas include the drawing of California as a peninsula, and a more detailed depiction of the Great Lakes region that included the claims made by Baron Lahontan and his influencial “River of the West”.
However, it should be noted that his drawing of California is incomplete and as such leaves the concept of a peninsula open for interpretation.
His inclusion of Lahontan’s claims however are important. Lahontan’s map was the first to draw the fictitious “Rivière Longue” emanating from the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi, as well as depicting the “Rivière Morte” that was claimed to have been drawn from reports by the Gnacsitares tribe. This latter river system emanated from a Western mountain range, which we now know as the Rocky Mountains, and was linked to another river system on its Western side in the region of the “Pais des Mozeemlek”. Lahontan’s map was influential because it provided the possibility of an internal river route to the Pacific from the Great Lakes region. Lahontan’s depictions of the “Rivière Longue” and the “Rivière Morte”, which eventually became known as the “River of the West” with its various fanciful drawings, were based on native claims that might be pure fabrications on the part of Lahontan. As such, Senex tempers Lahontan’s claims by adding a note that states “unless the Baron Lahontan has invented these things, which is hard to resolve he being the only person that has travel’d into these vast countries.”
It is also of interest that Senex draws in some of the cities, such as Cibola, Quivira and Great Teguaio, associated with the so called “Seven Cities of Gold” myth of the American West. This myth which has it beginnings during the age of the Spanish conquistadors led many to believe and thus search for these mythical cities and their claims to gold and wealth.
Also of interest is Senex's drawing of Spanish wrecks in the Caribbean and the inclusion of Terra Incognita in the Arctic thus providing the viewer with a vast array of information relating to North America which remained, to a large extant, unexplored and fraught with wonder and danger.
This map is the second state dated 1710.
(Sources: Geographicus, BLR #39631, Stevens and Tree#61)

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Nicolas Delisle’s Famous Map that was help Ignite the 18th Century’s Sea of the West Controversy.

An unrecorded state of Joseph-Nicolas de l’Isle’s landmark map of the Pacific North West and of the Northwest Passage. “It is of exceptional historical importance and rarity and was at the centre of one the most heated cartographic debates in history.” At the heart of this debate was the speculative depiction of the Arctic and Pacific coast with its mythical “Mer de l’Ouest”.
De l’Isle’s map was earmarked for publication in the pamphlet “Nouvelles cares des découvertes de l’Amiral de Fonte, et autres navigateurs espagnols, portugais, anglais, hollandais, françois et russes, dans les mers septentrionales” for Paris’ Académie Royale des Sciences in 1753. His family connection to the renown Guillaume de l’Isle, one of the most important and influential cartographers of the 18th Century, as well as his service in the Royal Academy in St-Petersburg with access to early records of Russian exploration of East Asia by the likes of Frondat, Tchirkow,and Berhing, provided him with an air of respectability and gave credence to his speculations however far fetched they might have been. It should be noted that his older brother, Guillaume, did produce a manuscript map in 1696 that toyed with the concept of an inland sea in the Pacific North West of America, but was never actually published. Furthermore, although Jean-Baptiste Nolin did publish a wall map using this spurious depiction in 1700, which was later copied by Pierre Mortier's Mappe Monde in 1705, the controversial depiction and the implications that it entailed remained somewhat dormant for the next 50 years.
However, this all changed when Joseph-Nicolas de l’Isle and his brother in law, Philippe Buache, produced a manuscript map to the Academy Royale in 1750 and was subsequently published with certain modifications by Buache in his landmark map Carte des Nouvelles Découvertes au Nord de la Mer du Sud in 1752. Although de l’Isle attempted to distance himself from Buache’s depiction, it proved insufficient in suppressing the debate that it unleashed both intellectually and in the search for the Northwest passage to Asia by different explorers intent on gaining fame and riches.
It should be noted that this particular copy of de l’Isle’s map, both in its rarity and value, are further enhanced by its current unrecorded state. Of the two known states with their respective paginations on the upper right or left hand corners, this copy has neither. It is most likely that the present copy was issued independently before it was published in the pamphlet. As such, it is interesting to observe distinctive rule marks suggesting a very early strike or possibly a proof state, thus explaining the heavy stock paper that was used and the lack of a centrefold.
This example is exceptional both for its historical significance to the cartography of the Pacific Northwest and for its unrecorded state. It is a rare find.
(Sources:Kershaw#1208-09, Wagner, Apocryphal Voyages…pp.29-38, Wagner, The Cartography of NW Coast #571, Tooley, Mapping of America, pp.35-6, Falk, Alaskan Maps, Geographicus)

#raremaps #antiques #cartography #map #maps #history #geography

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Moithy’s important broadside Map of the American Northeast published during the American Revolution published and the British naval blockade.

A beautiful and rare first state map with original color depicting the American and British colonies on the East coast of North America at the onset of the American Revolution. Inset is a map of the Atlantic trade routes to North America from European ports. These include the Route de Rochefort, The Route du Havre, the Route de Nantes, the Route de Brest, the Route de Cadis and the Route de Lisbonne.
It has been argued that broadside maps such as this one, became an importance source of cartographic information to the Americans as the supply of maps and other goods were closed off during the British Naval blockades. As such, as indicated in the title, this map was based on the work of Thomas Jefferys most likely from the maps found in The American Atlas: Or A Geographical Description of the Whole Continent of America that was first published by Sayer and Bennett in 1775. Jefferys work is considered “one of the most authoritative and comprehensive atlases of America” (W. Ristow). It is further argued by Ristow that the American Atlas “as a major cartographic reference work it was, very likely, consulted by American, English, and French civilian administrators and military officers during the Revolution.”
Moithey’s map also includes annotations that describe the historical context in which the different North American colonies were founded. It also notes the native Five Nations that include the Mohawks, the Onidos, the Onondawgaws, the Kasyowgaws and the Senckas and Tulkarorahs.
Moithey’s depiction provides an impressive amount of cartographic information as it relates to the different colonial boundaries including forts and native villages as well as bestowing important topographical detail in what would become an important theatre of military conflict during the American Revolution.
Sources:Ristow, W., Thomas Jefferys The American Atlas London 1776, Amsterdam 1974. Sellers & Van Ee #155.)

#raremaps #cartography #history #geography #maps #antique #collectables #homedecor

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Rare and very important chart that changed the fate of North America.

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A very rare and historically important published chart by James Cook devoted exclusively to the St-Lawrence river. It is the rare 2nd state twelve sheet chart joined into three sections which was at one time bound into Sayer & Bennett’s “North American Pilot.” Cook’s chart was originally separately-issued in 1760 by Thomas Jefferys. The rarity on the market for both states comes from its historically wide use and application as a standard chart of navigation for this crucial and strategic waterway. As such, no sales record exist on Americana Exchange of this 2nd state.
The surveying for this monumental chart of the St-Lawrence began in 1758 shortly after the the fall of Louisbourg from the Battle of Carillon and before the British forces, under the command of Admiral Saunders, launched their decisive assault on Quebec City as part of the Seven Year War effort against the French in North America. The intent of the British Navy was to compile and correct existing French and British charts, at the onset of the siege of Quebec City in 1759. In fact, when the British began its move from Halifax to a landing near Quebec City, Cook’s ship was among those that led the fleet upstream while proceeding to sound the channel. Admiral Saunders’ command of 49 ships and 140 smaller vessels were instrumental in supporting General Wolfe’s troops and limiting the supplies and reinforcements to the besieged city.
The result was a chart by James Cook under the tutelage of Samuel Holland, the future Surveyor General of the Northern British Provinces, that far surpassed those on the contemporary market. As such, Cook’s and Holland’s chart enabled the British forces to deftly navigate the perilous shoals and channels such as The Traverse near the proposed landing sites in the siege of Quebec City. With the fall of Quebec City in 1759, a three pronged attack under the command of Lord Jeffrey Amherst, could commence to capture Montreal from up and downstream of the St-Lawrence as well as from the South by way of Lake Champlain. The British victory on September 8th 1760 would lead to the fall of France’s North American Empire and remove any European impediment emanating from the North to the Westward expansion in Britain’s North American colonies.
(Sources: Arkway, Cohen & Taliaferro, Catalog #69., Hayes, D. Historical Atlas of Canada, Reid, S., Quebec 1759: The Battle That Won Canada, Kershaw #647, Williams, G. Cook, James, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 4)

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Carver’s Important and Rare Map Showing the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that Upset the American Colonies Because it Attempted to Regulate Westward Expansion.

A historically important rare map of the new and existing British possessions in North America following the Royal Proclamation in 1763 at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War and the signing the treaty of Paris. This is the first state of this map that was published in Sayer & Bennett’s The America Atlas, 1776.
The Royal Proclamation attempted to regulate future Westward expansion beyond the “proclamation line” west of the Appalachian Mountain range by its colonies. Its aim was to limit encroachment on Native Lands which they foresaw as a source of future conflicts by creating a set of protocols and the establishment of an “Indian Department” responsible for the relations with the First Nation peoples. The Proclamation in effect took away the ability from Colonial governors to directly make land grants or acquire Native Lands. The Proclamation of 1763 has since been instilled in Canada’s Constitution Act of 1982 and still forms the basis by which treaty negotiations are undertaken with First Nations in Canada.
The map was the work of Captain Jonathan Carver who undertook the surveying of the St-Lawrence region for the Crown as well as integrating existing French surveys. Of particular interest, is the delineation of the borders of the newly acquired colony of Quebec. As such, the map, which was published 1776 served as a pictorial representation of the expanded boundaries of the Quebec Colony into New England and the Ohio Lands following the Quebec Act of 1774 (also known as the BNA Act) and served as a point of contention during the onset of the American Revolution. In fact, the BNA Act was part of what became known as the Intolerable Acts passed by Britain as retribution for acts committed during the Boston Tea Party. The borders between Quebec and the newly created United States would be effectively redrawn following the conclusion of the American Revolution in 1783 with Britain retreating from the area of what is today the United States.
(BLR #36170, Kershaw#766, aadnc-aandc.gc.ca 250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763).

#raremaps #geography #history #maps #map #antiques #cartography

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Bellin’s Rare Chart of the St-Lawrence River published after the Fall of New France.

A beautiful example of the second state of Bellin’s great chart of the St-Lawrence. The rare map is divided into two horizontal sections. The first section depicts the St- Lawrence from Québec to the Cap aux Oyes, and the second section, using a different scale, from Québec to Matane and Rivière aux Outardes. The chart also has, on the upper right corner, a View of the Traverse, a somewhat perilous location on the South side of Isle aux Rots and Grosse Isle.

The first section also depicts three navigational channels; “Chenal des Vaisseaux”, “Ancien Chenal des Anglois”, and “Chenal D’Iberville”. These three channels all converge on the South bank of Isle d’Orleans and give a detail assessment of the soundings, shoals and currents for this waterway. Also of note, was Bellin's use, as a result of the work of Chartier de Lotbinière in 1754, of a more precise measurement for the Longitude of Quebec than that of Jean Deshayes' published reading in 1706. In fact, although Bellin used Deshayes famous chart of the St-Lawrence, initially published in 1702, as a starting point, many of the updates come from the survey work conducted in 1738-40 by the port captain of Quebec, Richard Testu de la Richardière and Gabriel Pellegrin. In addition, Bellin requested French pilotes navigating the St-Lawrence to submit their observations to the Dépot des cartes et plans de la Marine, thus giving him multiple sources from which to verify the accuracy of the surveying.

It is of historical significance that although Bellin began to compile information for this chart prior to the outbreak of the Seven Year War, it would only be published following the fall of Québec. As such, the French were at a navigational disadvantage to the English who were able to obtain, on the eve of the British siege of Québec in 1759, a more detailed chart of the St-Lawrence through the cartographic exploits of James Cook. In fact, the differences in the way that Bellin and Cook went about their trade, may help explain why the latter was able to publish his chart sooner. Whereas Cook was plying his trade in the field, Bellin was better known as a “géographe de cabinet”. In other words, Bellin, who sorted and compiled works from various sources, was in effect, adding another layer to the charting process. That being said, Bellin’s chart remains valuable as a monument to the quest for precision and excellence by one of the great cartographers of the 18th century. It is also a useful comparison to juxtapose against the first ever published chart of another great cartographer of the ages, that of James Cook.

(Sources: Kershaw #65, Palomino, J.F., Entre la recherche du vrai et l’amour de la patrie : cartographier la Nouvelle-France au xviiie siècle, BANQ, 2009)

#raremaps #antique #maps #cartography #geography #history #cartography

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Rare Unrecorded State of Blaeu’s Famous Map of the East Coast of America and New France.

Fine example by Pieter Mortier of a rare map originally published by Joan Blaeu in his Atlas Major in 1662. It’s depiction is based on Samuel de Champlain’s 1632 seminal map of New France. Blaeu also supplemented the map with place names from Johannes Da Laet and presumably from Jan Jansson.
In 1672, a fire destroyed Blaeu’s main printing press in the Gravenstraat which eventually led to the demise of the firm. Many copper plates would eventually be sold to fellow map makers such as Pieter Mortier.
The present map offered for sale is beautifully enhanced by contemporary colouring.

(Sources: Kershaw p.144-145, Burden 371)

#raremaps #raremap #geography #history #cartography #homedecor #map #maps #antique #antiques #collectables

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Dewit’s rare and colourful depiction of the North Atlantic.

This wonderful sea chart is a rare 2nd state depicting the trade route from the Azores and Cape Verde to the coasts of North and South America including the Carribean. This rare map first appeared in De Wit’s Orbis Maritimus ofte Zee Atlas, published circa 1675 and had a total 27 sea charts most likely engraved by the renown Romein de Hooghe. This chart has its provenance from Theunis Jacobsz famous sea chart Pascaerte van Carybes, Nieu Neder landt, Brazil… published circa 1650.
Of interest with De Wit’s chart of the trade route is the portrayal of a naval battle scene occurring near the North American North East. As such, De Wit may have been depicting the current state of war that existed between France and the Dutch Republic in what is commonly known as the Franco-Dutch War of 1672-1678, or to the Third Anglo-Dutch War of 1672-1674 in which England briefly became a French ally against the Netherlands. Although much of the fighting occurred on the European continent, the Dutch Republic did seize their former colony of New Amsterdam, now known as New York, from the English and renamed it New Orange in 1673. The Dutch were also able to seize the french colony of Acadia in 1674 with the capture of Fort Pentagouet located in present day Castine Maine, renaming it New Holland. However, New York, following the Treaty of Westminster, would revert back to England in exchange for the recognition of Dutch Guiana (Suriname) in November 1674. The legal title of the french colony of Acadia would, for its part, revert back to France with the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678.
That being said, the naval battle scene is balanced with the presence of a single ship near the centre of the chart most likely on route to one of the new world colonies to trade.
De Wit also graces the chart with two beautiful cartouches; one in Latin and the other in Dutch. The cartouches can be viewed as allegorical with the Latin cartouche depicting a native american sitting on an alligator offering gold to Mercury, the Roman god of commerce and trade, whilst Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, is examining a chart beside a sea monster. The Dutch cartouche, on the other hand, depicts a scene with a llama heavily laden with trade goods surrounded by native americans, and european soldiers and traders.
Many of De Wit’s plates, including the present chart, were sold at auction after his death. As such, this explains why this chart was eventually re-issued by Louis Renard in 1715 and by the Ottens in 1739 and again 1745.
(Sources: Burden#467, Maratanlan item#, BLR item#)

#raremap #raremaps #cartography #geography #history #maps #map #collectables #antiquemaps
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Dewit’s rare and colourful depiction of the North Atlantic.

This wonderful sea chart is a rare 2nd state depicting the trade route from the Azores and Cape Verde to the coasts of North and South America including the Carribean. This rare map first appeared in De Wit’s Orbis Maritimus ofte Zee Atlas, published circa 1675 and had a total 27 sea charts most likely engraved by the renown Romein de Hooghe. This chart has its provenance from Theunis Jacobsz famous sea chart Pascaerte van Carybes, Nieu Neder landt, Brazil… published circa 1650.
Of interest with De Wit’s chart of the trade route is the portrayal of a naval battle scene occurring near the North American North East. As such, De Wit may have been depicting the current state of war that existed between France and the Dutch Republic in what is commonly known as the Franco-Dutch War of 1672-1678, or to the Third Anglo-Dutch War of 1672-1674 in which England briefly became a French ally against the Netherlands. Although much of the fighting occurred on the European continent, the Dutch Republic did seize their former colony of New Amsterdam, now known as New York, from the English and renamed it New Orange in 1673. The Dutch were also able to seize the french colony of Acadia in 1674 with the capture of Fort Pentagouet located in present day Castine Maine, renaming it New Holland. However, New York, following the Treaty of Westminster, would revert back to England in exchange for the recognition of Dutch Guiana (Suriname) in November 1674. The legal title of the french colony of Acadia would, for its part, revert back to France with the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678.
That being said, the naval battle scene is balanced with the presence of a single ship near the centre of the chart most likely on route to one of the new world colonies to trade.
De Wit also graces the chart with two beautiful cartouches; one in Latin and the other in Dutch. The cartouches can be viewed as allegorical with the Latin cartouche depicting a native american sitting on an alligator offering gold to Mercury, the Roman god of commerce and trade, whilst Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, is examining a chart beside a sea monster. The Dutch cartouche, on the other hand, depicts a scene with a llama heavily laden with trade goods surrounded by native americans, and european soldiers and traders.
Many of De Wit’s plates, including the present chart, were sold at auction after his death. As such, this explains why this chart was eventually re-issued by Louis Renard in 1715 and by the Ottens in 1739 and again 1745.
(Sources: Burden#467, Maratanlan item#, BLR item#)

#raremap #raremaps #cartography #geography #history #maps #map #collectables #antiquemaps

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De Fer’s World Map with California as an Island.

An intriguing world map drawn by a leading cartographer of the 18th Century, Nicolas de Fer. De Fer’s world map is of interest not only for what it depicts, but also for its choice of omissions. The map was published in De Fer’s Atlas Curieux ou le monde représenté dans des cartes générales… in 1705.
The first element that is of interest is the drawing of California as an island. Although cartographers of the 16th and early 17th Century, such as Gerard Mercator and Abraham Ortelius, correctly drew the region as a Peninsula following reports from the Spanish explorer Francisco de Ulloa, the misconception of California as an island began to be depicted following a map drawn by Michiel Colijin’s in1622 and persisted well into the late 18th Century.
What is of interest is the fact that De Fer’s depiction of the myth of California as an island is based not only on the cartographic misconception the times, but also from the information he pirated from Father Eusebio Kino’s manuscript map of 1696, which, along with his Paso for Tierra á la California, found their way to France, while he was exploring of the Southern portion of Baja California. The irony, is that Father Kino would eventually disprove the California as an island myth as early as 1701, but his map Carte du passage par terre a la Californie… would only be published in Lettres Edifiantes in 1705, the same year as De Fer’s Atlas Curieux…
Another aspect of De Fer’s map that is of interest is the total omission of any mention of the English colonies on the Northeast coast. De Fer partitions the continent between Nouvelle Espagne, for the Spanish land claims, and La Louisiane and Canada ou Nouvelle France for the French land claims. That being said, it could be argued that the map is very much French centric as the routes circumnavigating the globe emanate only from France and/or Portugal. This could be a result of the fact that the map was published in the early years of the War of the Spanish Succession when the heir apparent to the Spanish Crown, which at the time included Portugal, was from the Royal House of Bourbon.
Another aspect that needs to be underlined is the fact that De Fer’s map does not speculate as to the Pacific Northwest of America, a land which was, until then, mostly unexplored. Yet, in placing the map’s cartouche over the entire Pacific Northwest, Francis Drake’s claim for the English Crown of New Albion is completely omitted.
De Fer also omits any depiction of Antartica other than to mention in a notation that some cartographers believe in the existence of a large body of land that remained, for the time being, unknown. Furthermore, although De Fer’s map has certain misconceptions, for example his drawing of Australia and New Guinea, his overall depiction of his mappe-monde is a fair representation of the knowledge of the times.
Thus, De Fer’s map is intriguing because it does provide a more scientific approach in depicting the world by avoiding some of the more speculative aspects of cartography that can be witnessed on other maps of the era. However, De Fer’s map, in undertaking a more political view of the state of the world, maintains some of the more controversial aspects of early 18th Century cartography, namely that of depicting California as an island. By depicting California as an island, it was posited that the English claim to New Albion would be diminished if not, figuratively speaking, totally erased from the map. The map is thus a good example of the objective and subjective nature of cartography.

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