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Fine example of Tardieu's magnificent 4 sheet map of the United States, one of the best large format maps of of the United States from the period.

Originally based upon the 1796 edition of Arrowsmith's map of the United States, the map has been completely re-engraved by Tardieu and reflects the finer engraving skills of this Paris engraver. In addition of the decorative cartouche present in Arrowsmith's map, Tardieu has added a plan of Washingtion DC, based upon Ellicott's plan.

Following the appearance of the first state, Tardieu's map goes through several significant revisions. A second edition is issued in 1808 (adding Michigan Territory, Ohio, Vermont, Kentucky & Tennessee). A third edition was issued in 1812, which is known in at least 3 states, followed by an extremely rare fourth edition, published in 1820, which adds an addtional set of half sheets at the bottom of the map, extending the map's coverage to include all of Florida.

The 3 states of the map dated 1812 can be identified most easily by Tardieu's treatment of the southern regions of the United States. In the first edition, Georgia extends to the Mississippi River (pre-dating Mississippi Territory), West Florida is shown, Louisiana does not yet appear as a state and there is a massive area called Indiana below lake Michigan, with an unnamed Territory to the west. In the second state (circa 1816), Mississippi Territory is shown for the first time, along with Illinois Territory, Indiana Territory (which would become as state in November 1816) and a massive Northwest Territory. In the 1818 edition of the map, Alabama Territory appears for the first time, the roads in Illinois Territory and Indiana Territory have been changed and East Florida and West Florida are no longer named.

This circa 1816 edition of the map would appear to be extremely rare. We can find no catalog references which identify this variant edition, and Rumsey was apparently also unaware of this edition as of mid-2011, at the time he acquired his copy of the 1820 edition of the map.

Condition Description
Unjoined, in 4 sheets, with wide uncut margins.
Pierre Antoine Tardieu Biography

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.