Finely colored example of De Fer's map of Italy map of Spain, featuring the coat of arms of the 14 principal regions of Italy.
The map is colored by regions, and shows in great detail the principal roads from between the cities, along with an elaborate decorative cartouche. The map was first issued shortly after 1700 by De Fer. This edition, by his successor Charles-Louis Desnos, is apparently quite rare, as there are no other examples noted in AMPR in the past 25 years.
Nicolas de Fer (1646-1720) was the youngest son of Parisian print and map seller, Antoine de Fer [d.1673]. He became an official geographer to both French and Spanish kings. Nicholas de Fer was one of the most prolific and influential French geographers and cartographers of the late 17th and early 18th Century. The present example was issued by Charles-Louis Desnos, the successor to De Fer.
Nicholas de Fer (1646-1720) was the son of a map seller, Antoine de Fer, and grew to be one of the most well-known mapmakers in France in the seventeenth century. He was apprenticed at twelve years old to Louis Spirinx, an engraver. When his father died in 1673, Nicholas helped his mother run the business until 1687, when he became the sole proprietor.
His earliest known work is a map of the Canal of Languedoc in 1669, while some of his earliest engravings are in the revised edition of Methode pour Apprendre Facilement la Geographie (1685). In 1697, he published his first world atlas. Perhaps his most famous map is his wall map of America, published in 1698, with its celebrated beaver scene (engraved by Hendrick van Loon, designed by Nicolas Guerard). After his death in 1720, the business passed to his sons-in-law, Guillaume Danet and Jacques-Francois Benard.