Striking example of the 1766 edition of Guillaume Danet, decorative map of America, with a large inset map of the various theories of the Sea of the West and the Northwest Passage, published by Louis Charles Desnos in Paris.
The map provides a detailed historical overview of the exploration of America, beginning with Columbus. The text also references the explorations, of Amerigo Vespucci, Pedro Cabral, Thomas Auber, Ponce de Leon, Ferdinand Cortez, Ferdinand Magellan, John Sebastian Cabot, Juan Verazzano, Jacques Cartier, Francisco Pizzaro, Olivier Noort, Willem Schouten, Jacques Le Maire, Father Marquette, Father Joliet, and de La Salle and includes portraits of each of the explorers andlon the top and botom of each map, along with a seal for each of the major regions of America explored. Along the sides are illustrations of each of the 12 constellations.
Geographically, thhe primary feature of the map is the massive Mer de L'Ouest (Sea of the West), which dominates the northwest part of America, which includes a wide open and optimistic water course from the Sea of the West to Hudson's Bay, labeld "Communication Presumee" (presumed connection). The course of the Mississippi is based upon De L'Isle's map of North America. This marvelous myth would disappear from maps in the next decade, following the return of Captain James Cook from his explorations along the Northwest Coast of America. Curiously the map does not extend far enough to the north to credit the Russian explorations in the region.
The map was first issued by Danet in 1731 and later revised by Desnos, at which time he significantly revised the cartographic details. This Desnos edition of the map is quite rare, with only one example of the 1766 edtion noted in AMPR between 1983 and 2011 (Librairie Le Bail-Weissert: 2003, Item 370 -- $5,700 USD) and a 1768 edition offered by Richard Arkway in 1990 (Catalogue XXXVI--$2,000).