Rare separately published map of America, published by Melchior Tavernier in Paris in 1627.
Tavernier's map of America is one of several rare separately issued French maps of America, based upon the Jodocus Hondius map of 1618. Tavernier was one of the leading Paris publishers of the early 17th Century. According to Burden, "this rare map is one of a set of the four known continents that Melchior Tavernier had engraved, with or without Petrus Bertius' permission is unclear." Burden identifies Cornelis Danckerts (the elder) as the engraver. The map includes one very important change from the Hondius map, the completion of the Southern Coastline of Tierra del Fuego.
The map provides a remarkable early image of America, including the curious bulge along along the coastline between the Chesapeake (Chesepioc) and C. de S. Roman. The Northwest Coast of America is quite remarkably projected. There is no sign of the Great Lakes. A mountain range runs from East to West for nearly half of the North American continent.
In New Spain, their are hints of the 7 Cities of Cibola (Sept) and the Rio Grand is quite prominently shown flowing into the Gulf of California, not the Gulf of Mexico. The known limits of the Mississippi River are quite limited and in fact there are two rivers shown, along with a curious projection for Florida. California is not shown as a island, reflecting the fact that the Dutch and French map makers had not yet widely adopted this myth. The early search for the Northwest passage is in evidence, with a nice depiction of Hudson's Bay and the various bays and straits to the north.
The two polar insets elegantly detail the known and mythical details of these regions, with a hint of Terre Antarctique Incognue (the unknown southern lands still prominently depicted.
States of the Map and Rarity
Burden notes two states of the map, this first state and a later edition of 1640, which add Neuf Amsterdam, Pleymouth, Accadie, S. Augustino and other details in the northeast and N. Albion and Quivira in the western parts of North America.
The map is rare on the market, especially in such fine condition.
Melchior Tavernier was a member of a large family involved in the publishing trade in Paris in the early years of the seventeenth century. Early in his career, he apparently collaborated with Henricus Hondius, as at least one of his early maps references Tavernier as the seller of a map engraved in Amsterdam, by Hondius. He is probably best known for his publication of a map of the Post Roads of France, which was copied many times until the end of the century. He also issued an atlas under the same title as J. le Clerc's Theatre Geographique, using many of Le Clerc's maps, but incorporating others from different sources. He published composite atlases and also published works for other cartographers, including N. Sanson, N. Tassin, and P. Bertius. He is not to be confused with his nephew of the same name (1594-1665), who also engraved maps for Nicolas Sanson.
Petrus Bertius was a Flemish historian, theologian, geographer, and cartographer. Known in Dutch as Peter de Bert, Bertius was born in Beveren. His father was a Protestant preacher and his family fled to London around 1568. The young Bertius only returned to the Low Countries in 1577, to attend the University of Leiden. A bright pupil, Bertius worked as a tutor and was named subregent of the Leiden Statencollege in 1593. He ascended to the position of regent in 1606, upon the death of the former regent, who was also Bertius’ father-in-law. However, due to his radical religious views, he eventually lost his teaching position and was forbidden from offering private lessons.
His brothers-in-law were Jodocus Hondius and Pieter van den Keere, who were both prominent cartographers. Bertius began his own cartographic publishing in 1600 when he released a Latin edition of Barent Langenes’ miniature atlas Caert Thresoor (1598). He published another miniature atlas that first appeared in 1616.
By 1618, Bertius was named cosmographer to Louis XIII. He converted to Catholicism and took up a position as professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Boncourt (University of Paris). In 1622, Louis XIII created a chart of mathematics specifically for Bertius and named him his royal historian. He died in Paris in 1629.