Uncommon Example of One of Tassin's Early Works
Presented is Tassin's scarce atlas of France and Spain, completed in the year 1633, bound together with his atlas of the French region of Lorraine, the latter of which would appear in his 1634 Les plans et profils de toutes les principales villes et lieux considerable de France. This work was published in the year which Tassin started producing his atlases.
Tassin is well regarded as an early French engraver with a distinct style, which can be recognized on his maps by his portrayal of trees, hydrography, and topographic features. Pastoureau says of the engraver that "Tassin is most renown for his small oblong atlases," and that while most of his works cover his native France, his works covering other parts of Europe are uncommon.
The first volume of this atlas appears without the described first map, a Carte Generale de France. However, the only other described copy of this volume we were able to locate also lists this plate as not included, thus it is unclear if it was ever bound into the Cartes Generales des provinces de France et Espagne.
Both volumes open with copious descriptions of the regions subsequently described. The maps themselves vary widely in scope, with some focusing on entire regions of France and Spain, and others on single, small areas, such as map 29, a full-page map of the Isle de Ré.
In all, this is a well-presented example of this scarce work by Tassin.
Nicolas Tassin's early career was in service to the King of France as an engineer. He was subsequently appointed 'royal cartographer' and given the right to publish his discoveries for ten years. Tassin first worked in Dijon before setting up as an engraver in Paris where he issued various collections of small maps and plans of France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. His first publications date to 1633, while his noted Les plans et profils de toutes les principales villes et lieux considérables de France was published a year later. He subsequently updated his early works through the rest of his career, before retiring in 1644 and selling his copperplates to Antoine de Fer.
Nicolas Tassin (fl. 1633-55) was appointed 'royal cartographer' at Dijon before setting up as an engraver in Paris where he issued various collections of small maps and plans of France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Tassin first published his maps in his own atlas Cartes Generale de Toutes Les Provinces de France in 1634, with an enlarged second edition in 1637 (France, royaumes et provinces d'Europe).