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Rare map illustrating the naval battle between the French and Spanish off the Coast near La Rochelle.

The map shows the battle of the Isles de Lerins, during the Franco-Spanish War (Thirty Years War), fought between March 24 and May 13, 1637. The battle resulted in the Spanish surrender of the two islands of Sainte Marguerite and Saint Honorat to the French.

Below the map, a separately published text panel provides details of the battle, based upon a letter key.

The battle included both naval and land operations and mobilized 39 ships, 11 galleys, 6 fire ships, 12 flutes, and a large fleet of transport. The Spanish garrison was reduced and the French attacked with all their forces. On March 24, 1637 began the siege of the Lérins Islands and the beginning of the attack of five Spanish forts. After a siege of 45 days, the Spaniards from Sainte-Marguerite Island capitulated on May 12 and those of Saint- Honorat Island May 13.

The map is very rare. We locate only a copy in the BnF.

Melchior Tavernier Biography

Melchior Tavernier was a member of a large family involved in the publishing trade in Paris in the early years of the seventeenth century. Early in his career, he apparently collaborated with Henricus Hondius, as at least one of his early maps references Tavernier as the seller of a map engraved in Amsterdam, by Hondius. He is probably best known for his publication of a map of the Post Roads of France, which was copied many times until the end of the century. He also issued an atlas under the same title as J. le Clerc's Theatre Geographique, using many of Le Clerc's maps, but incorporating others from different sources. He published composite atlases and also published works for other cartographers, including N. Sanson, N. Tassin, and P. Bertius. He is not to be confused with his nephew of the same name (1594-1665), who also engraved maps for Nicolas Sanson.