Unique Extra Illustrated Full Original Color Example of Sanson's Landmark Map of Canada & The Great Lakes Region.
Fine example of the first edition of Sanson's seminal map of the Great Lakes in full original color, with an engraved compass rose added by an early owner.
Sanson's map of Canada and the Great Lakes is one of the most important American maps of the period and a landmark in the mapping of the Great Lakes regions, which would influence regional maps for the next 100 years. This is the first map to attach the name L. Erie ou Du Chat to one of the Great Lakes (the latter being a reference to the local Indians). The drainage basin of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence is shown in greater detail than Sanson's map of North America.
The map identifies both Montreal and Quebec. The map incorporates many of the Jesuit discoveries in the New World. In addition, Long Island is shown and New Amsterdam is correctly located. The Delaware River is shown accurately, including the Swedish Colony. The map was separately issued from 1656 to 1658, then bound into some of Sanson's Atlases.
The present example is an unusually fine dark impression, with fine original color. The first edition of the map can be identified by the date (1656), which was later revised to 1676.
This example is made all the more desirable, as a result of the inclusion of an engraved compass rose, which has been added by an early owner. Because the compass rose addition has been done using a woodcut engraving method, it is virtually impossible to know the date of its addition, but the color scheme, which matches the coloring in the map, strongly suggests that it was added at a very early date.
Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667) is considered the father of French cartography in its golden age from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. Over the course of his career he produced over 300 maps; they are known for their clean style and extensive research. Sanson was largely responsible for beginning the shift of cartographic production and excellence from Amsterdam to Paris in the later-seventeenth century.
Sanson was born in Abbeville in Picardy. He made his first map at age twenty, a wall map of ancient Gaul. Upon moving to Paris, he gained the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who made an introduction of Sanson to King Louis XIII. This led to Sanson's tutoring of the king and the granting of the title ingenieur-geographe du roi.
His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Early in his career, Sanson worked primarily with the publisher Melchior Tavernier. Mariette purchased Tavernier’s business in 1644. Sanson worked with Mariette until 1657, when the latter died. Mariette’s son, also Pierre, helped to publish the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde (1658), Sanson' atlas and the first French world atlas.