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Nice example of the Sanson-Marriette double hemisphere map of the World, published by Nicolas Sanson, one of the most important mapmakers of the second half of the 17th Century, frequently regarded as the father of modern scientific mapmakers.

The map shows California as an island, the mythical Terre de Iesso, remnant of the land bridge that nearly connected North America and Asia and many 16th and early 17th Century maps, and information from Tasman and other Dutch Voyages showing the known extent of Australia (Nouvelle Hollande) and New Zealand.

Sanson's map leave the prospects of a Northwest Passage open, but offers no geographical detail north of the Island of California. Hudson's Bay is Mer Christiane and notes a region named N(ew) Danemarck.

A portion of the unknown southern continent remains, a concept which would soon disappear entirely from maps until the modern continent of Antarctica was discovered two centuries later.

Sanson was the first modern mapmaker to eschew decorative embellishment in favor of the clean and accurate style of map presentation. This became the norm in the 18th Century, although he did retain cartographic details which were unsupported by modern observations, just as the myth of California as an Island and the Unknown Southern Continent.

This is the second of 3 states of the map, which was first issued in 1660 and revised in 1669 and 1678, the latter two appearing in atlases published by Sanson's sons, Guillaume Sanson and Adrian Sanson, after Nicolas's death in 1667.

Condition Description
Restored at top left and right corners, with minor loss, reinstated with facsimile.
Shirley # 390.
Nicolas Sanson Biography

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.