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The First Comprehensive Scientific Mapping of the Andes

Rare large scale map of the South American Highlands of Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Peru, compiled by Victor Huot as part of a comprehensive study of the region by the Scientific Mission of G. de Créqui-Montfort and E. Sénéchal de la Grange.

The map was drawn from a series of scientific expeditions in South America, mainly in to the Andes, made at the beginning of this century, on various subjects, including cartography, orography, physical anthropology, linguistics, fauna, paleontology, etc.

Title Translation:

South American Highlands Regions (Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru) Traveled by the French Mission - Map Prepared by V. Huot from the Works of the Members of the Mission, the Original Sources unpublished, and the Most recent documents. . .

The following quote appeared in the Journal de la Societe des Americanistes de Paris (Nouvelle Series, Volume II, 1903, at page 346).

A French scientific map of South America. - So far, the cartography of the Bolivian region of the Andes is quite poor. For Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile,  the general maps are still incomplete, even embryonic, but on the whole, quite satisfactory.  For the Bolivian territory, no serious cartographic work exists to our knowledge. The maps of Ondarza, Reck, Muchin, Moreno, Idiaquez, Pando are more or less official publications, but all their documentation is based on information communicated by the local administrators.  And, unless we are mistaken, very few of the cartographers knew first-hand the terrain represented.

The recently published map of the Créqui Montfort-E. Sénéchal de la Grange Mission fills a significant gap, it is more than simply and improvement, it is a foundational map, it will be a solid starting point and will serve as a basis for all future studies.  Thanks to this map, for the first time, we can grasp, in outline, the topographic anatomy of these high Bolivian plateaus which constitute a region so original and so distinct.

The map of the French Mission, besides the high plateau of Bolivia, that is to say all the Republic of Bolivia (minus the plains of Beni and Chaco), also offers us the Peruvian departments of Arequipa, Puno and Moquegua, the Chilean provinces of Tacna, Tarapaca and Antofagasta.  It includes, in addition, the territory of Argentina, the province of Jujuy, part of that of Salta and the Argentine national territory of the Andes.  In short, it shows all the high plateau of South America from 15 ° to 26 ° lat. S., in a developed format (1m 70> <1m 30). The Bolivian provinces of Lipez, Chichas, and Porco, left almost blank by the old maps, appear here in all the reality of their relief, delineated with the greatest care. For the departments of Arequipa and Moquegua, for the provinces of Jujuy and Salta, the French map also introduces important new detail . This is a beautiful work that honors its creators and authors, well served, the rest, for the translation of their observations and statements, by the talent of the draftsman,  Mr. Victor Huot. It is a masterful preface to the great publications of archeology and ethnography promised by the Count de Créqui Montfort and eagerly awaited by all the Americanists.


1. Ministry of Public Instruction. Mission G. de Créqui Montfort-E. Seneschal of the Barn, 1903. Regions of the high plateaus of South America (Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru), visited by the French Mission. Map drawn up by V. Huot, based on the work of the members of the Mission, the original unpublished sources and the most recent documents, on a scale of 1: 750,000. Paris, Ehrard Brothers, 1905.

The Expedition

Henri Georges Le Compasseur de Créqui-Montfort Marquis de Courtivron (1877 – 966) was a French explorer, anthropologist, diplomat, businessman and sports shooter, who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics and in the 1924 Summer Olympics.

Crequi-Montfort and Eugène Sénéchal de Lagrange were sent in 1903 by the Ministry of Public Instruction to Bolivia, Peru, Chile and northern Argentina, to head the French scientific mission.  The two were charged with exploring the Andean highlands. During this mission, Georges Courty and Adrien de Mortillet conducted archaeological excavations at Tiahuanaco.  


This is the first example we have ever seen on the market, with no published auction or dealer records.

We note 3 examples in North American institutional collections, 1 example in the National Library of Chile and several examples in French libraries.

Condition Description
Dissected and laid on 6 sheets of linen, folding into original slip case, with key maps on each of the outer folds.