Fine old color example of this decorative double hemisphere map of the world, surrounded by allegorical decorations and models of the heavens, by Louis Charles Desnos.
The present example has been extensively updated to reflect the most up-to-date information on the eve of the first Captain James Cook's 3 Voyages to the Pacific and incorporates the recent Russian Discoveries in the Pacific.
The most significant cartographic update is in the Northwestern part of America, where the Sea of the West is prominently shown and a highly embellished depiction of the discoveries during Tchirikow's voyage in 1741 is given. The prospect of both Northwest and Northeast Passages clearly depicted on the map, including a marvelous channel extending northeast from the Sea of the West (Mer de l'Oest).
The map also tracks the circumnavigations of a number of earlier explorers, including Magellan, LemaIre, Schouten, and others. The depiction of Australia and New Zealand appears in the style popularized by the Dutch, which endured until Cook's Voyages, which commenced shorty after the publication of this map.
Originally issued by Nicolas De Fer in 1694 and by Guillaume Danet, Densos' world map is perhaps the single most enduring wall map of the world published in the 18th Century, having graced the walls and libraries of many French and other European castles in its day.
While the De Fer editions of the map appear occasionally on the market, we note only 2 other examples of the Desnos appearing at auction or in dealer catalogues in the past 30 years (including a heavily damaged and restored example which appeared at auction in 2004) and an example offered by Roderick Barron in 1996. We also offered an example in 2010.
The present example is quite unusual, in that it has fine wide margins and is in full, original color. We surmise that it was likely folded and bound into a composite atlas, resulting in the survival of the original color in such a fine bright state.