Nice example of this scarce map of the Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina. The map provides a fine treatment of the Gulf Coast and a dramatically oversized Tampa Bay and Baie du St. Espirit.
This striking map was drawn before Florida and the Gulf Coast had been fully explored and demonstrates the limits of contemporary knowledge in the region. The dating of this map runs the gamut from 1784 to 1806, but it can be reliably traced to Mentelle's Atlas Universel, published in Paris in 1798, although this example does not have the bluish hue typical of Mentelle's maps suggesting an earlier publication date.
Pierre Antoine Tardieu (1784-1869), also known to sign his works as PF Tardieu, was a prolific French map engraver and geographer. The Tardieu family, based in Paris, was well known for their talent in engraving, cartography, and illustration. Pierre Antoine’s father, Antoine Francois Tardieu, was an established cartographer who published numerous atlases. His son is said to have collaborated with him for many years before establishing his own independent career.
Pierre Antoine Tardieu’s most famous work includes engravings of the islands of La Palma and Tenerife, for which in 1818 he was awarded a bronze medal by King Louis-Phillipe for the beauty and accuracy of his mapping. Other famous work includes his mapping of Louisiana and Mexico, engravings of Irish counties, maps of Russia and Asia, and his highly celebrated illustrations of all the provinces of France. He was also the first mapmaker to engrave on steel.
Tardieu was a popular map engraver in his lifetime, enjoying the patronage of the likes of Alexander von Humboldt and respect among his peers. In 1837, he was appointed the title Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. As was written in his obituary in the Bulletin of the Geographical Society of France, he was renowned for his combination of technical talent and scholarly research skills and praised for furthering his family’s well-respected name in the scientific arts.