An attractive original antique map showing the regions of Champagne and Brie in northeastern France, published by Visscher, but using the name "Par Mr. Samson Geographe du Roy."
The map centers on the city of Reims, which is at the heart of the Champagne wine-growing region. Paris can be seen in the west of the map.
Numerous features are shown on the map, including rivers, lakes, forests, towns, and more. Larger towns and cities are depicted pictorially. Crossing points for rivers are shown.
The map includes a decorative cartouche showing wild animals and livestock with 17th-century embellishments. A scale bar shows three different systems of measurement.
The map is credited to Mr. Samson (Nicolas Sanson), however, the map was published by Visscher, who was seeking to capitalize on Sanson's well respected name (which is misspelled!).
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.