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Description

Very Rare French Wall Map of Reims.

An attractive map of the region around Reims, one of the earliest to show the area in detail. The map is oriented to the northeast, meaning that most of the rivers of the region run vertically. Many cities, towns, lakes, rivers, and more are shown and named. Shows Reims, Chalons-en-Champagne, Rethel, and parts of the Liege and Lorraine regions.

The upper right-hand includes a cryptic message to "Gabriel de Ste Marie, Archevesque Duc de Reims." This referred to Gabriel Gifford, an English Benedictine monk who was appointed Archbishop of Reims and was an important figure in the church. The message opens with a quote from the Latin military historian Vegetius regarding the duties of captains in the army. Jubrien compares this duty to that of leaders in the church and appears to advise the Archbishop to head Vegetius's advice. He presents his map as a useful tool for the Archbishop when making the rounds of his parishes, tying this into the earlier quote. Jubrien then concludes by saying that if the Archbishop accepts his work, it will encourage him (the cartographer) to open his heart to God. The message is adorned by two coats of arms, the upper left of which is the crest of Reims. The whole message is confusingly worded, and the tone is cryptic: parts seem flattering towards the Archbishop, while other parts seem demanding. An unusual amount of advice is put into the message written by a printer to one of if not, the most powerful people in the region. What the true relationship between these two men was, it appears lost to history.

This map was made by Jean Jubrien, a French cartographer who published several maps, though all of them focused on the area around Reims and Rethel. This particular map was published in four editions between 1623 and 1654, of which this is the first. The map is scarce.

European mapmakers of the period, including Willem and Johannes Blaeu, based their maps of the region on this map by Jubrien.

Condition Description
Four sheets joined as one. Minor toning along centerfold.