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Rare Variant Edition of Sanson's map of North America, showing California as an island.

The map is most noteworthy for the depiction of the Second Sanson model of California as an island.

The map shows an open Great Lakes and detailed cartography within the interior of North America, based upon the reports of the French Jesuits. The Mississippi River is based upon a pre-La Salle description, pushed well to the west and without any real knowledge of its course.

The Rio Grande flows into the Gulf of California. The projection of California is based upon the second Sanson model.

McLaughlin 89.
Nicolas Sanson Biography

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.