The four continents (America, Africa, Asia and Europe) from Pierre Du Val's rare set of 52 playing card maps, engraved on a single sheet. The set is very rare, the last complete set being offered in Arkway's catalogue #58 in 1991 for $2500.00. The cartography of America is particularly noteworthy, with California shown as an Island, the massive land bridge between America and Asia present and a massive southern continent (Australia) taking shape in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Pierre Duval (1618-1683) was a French geographer, cartographer, and publisher who worked in Abbeville and Paris during the seventeenth century. He was born in the former city, in northeast France, before moving to Paris. Duval was the nephew of the famous cartographer Nicolas Sanson, from whom he learned the mapmaker's art and skills. Both men worked at the royal court, having followed the royal request for artists to relocate to Paris. In addition to numerous maps and atlases, Du Val's opus also includes geography texts. He held the title of geographe ordinaire du roi from 1650 and died in 1683, when his wife and daughters took over his business.