Decorative map of the Western Hemisphere, published by Alain Manesson Mallet.
The map shows California as an Island, no Northwest Coast of America and an incomplete New Zealand.
Several sailing ships shown. From Mallet's monumental Description de l' Univers, first published in Paris in 1683, perhaps the greatest work of its kind in the 17th century.
Alain Mannesson Mallet (1630-1706) was a French mapmaker and engineer who served in the armies of Louis XIV. After rising through the ranks, Mallet was appointed as Inspector of Fortifications, a job which also required mathematical skills and which made him a competent military engineer. Eventually, he joined the court of Louis XIV at Versailles, where he taught math and focused on writing.
Mallet is best known for his Description de L’Univers, first published in 1683, in five volumes. A wide-ranging geographical work, the Description included textual descriptions of the countries of the world, as well as maps of the celestial sky and the ancient and modern worlds. The Description continued to be published until the early eighteenth century. He also published a work in three volumes on warfare (1684) and a primer on geometry (1702).