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One of the earliest of Sanson's world maps and one of the earliest obtainable maps to show the 5 Great Lakes. The map is based upon Sanson's 1651 map of the world (Shirley #390), but with more prominence given to marine and river features. California is shown as an island. In this map Sanson has renamed Nouvelle Albion in the northwest part of North America as Terra de Iesso and the Detriot d'Anian has been moved to just north of California. Australia is only partially shown, still marked Beach (after Marco Polo), and there is a faint outline of the southern continent labeled Terre Australe Magellanique & Incogneue. The curious massive land mass which nearly connected Asia and the NW Coast of America is also shown in a faint outline, which is very different than illustrated in Shirley #390. There is no known explanation for this landmass, which extends to Niphon and would nearly double the size of the usual landmass shown in this area on Sanson's other World maps. A fascinating mystery! Shirley #394. Wagner #367.

Nicolas Sanson Biography

Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667) is considered the father of French cartography in its golden age from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. Over the course of his career he produced over 300 maps. His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Previously, Sanson had worked primarily with the publisher Melchior Tavernier. Mariette purchased Tavernier’s business in 1644. Sanson worked with Mariette until 1657, when the latter died. Mariette’s son, also Pierre, helped to publish the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde.