One of the Earliest French National Atlases.
First edition of Christophe Tassin's rare 1634 atlas entitled Les Cartes Generales de Toutes les Provinces. . ., a regional atlas covering France, the Low Countries, Switzerland, and Northern Italy.
Tassin's work formed an important bridge between the earliest French cartographers, including Maurice Bouguereau, who published Le Theatre Francoys, the first French national atlas, and Antoine de Fer, who expanded Parisian cartographers' interest past the French borders and the European continent. His maps are exquisitely engraved in the French style, exemplified by baroque compass roses and impressionistic mountains and forests more angular than those of the earlier Lafreri mapmakers.
The work was produced during Tassin's extremely short-lived engraving career. After having been granted a privilege on the 15th of November 1631, Tassin engraved all of his known works between 1635 and 1644, many of which were published as part of this atlas. His career as a seller was almost just as short-lived, and he sold all his copperplates to Antoine de Fer and Nicolas Berey for 3,500 livres in early 1644.
Les Cartes Generales de Toutes les Provinces. . . could possess up to fifty-eight maps, while this example has twenty-six. According to Pastoreau, the collation of most known examples of this book varies, which she suggests reflects his mediocre commercial abilities and success. She states that "the examples that we have found are but few and their content variable" and that "This work is often but a compendium of Tassin's maps in several sheets."
One of the most unusual aspects of this atlas is that many of the title cartouches are engraved on a secondary plate. M. E. van der Vekene noted that this meant that the position of the cartouche could change from map to map. However, this is not the case for all of the maps, and many of the maps for which this is the case clearly have an area designated for the cartouche.
- Carte du Duché de Bourgongne
- Carte de Bresse.
- Carte du Lionnois Forest et Beauielois
- Carte de Dauphiné.
- Carte de Provence.
- Carte generale de Guyenne
- Carte Generale de Poictou Xaintonge Angoulmois et pays d'Aulrux.
- Carte de Bretagne
- Carte de Maine.
- Carte de Limosin.
- Carte de Berry.
- Carte du Duché d'Orleans.
- Carte de Nivernois.
- Carte Generale des Dix et Sept Provinces des Pays bas.
- Carte des Comtez de Flandres Artois et Haynault.
- Carte de Hollande.
- Description du Fort de Schincke et Pays circonvoisins.
- Carte de la Basse Allemagne Westphalie et Duches de Braunswyck et Luxenbourg.
- Carte des Duches de Saxe Meklembourg Pomeranie Prusse et Marquisat de Brandenbourg
- Carte des Royaumes de Boheme et Hongrie, Duche de Bavieres et Archiduche d'Autriche.
- Seigneurie de Genes, Comté de Nice et Partie de Lisle de Corse.
- Carte des Duchez de Mantoue Ferrare et Seigneurie de Venise.
- Carte Generale des treze cantons de Suisse, Vallay ligues Grise, Maison-Dieu & Valteline.
- Patrimoine St Pierre et Florentin
- Description du Cap de La Croix Isles et Marguerite et St. Honorat
- Golphe de Grimaut.
We trace no further examples of the 1634 edition as having appeared on the market. We trace two later examples appearing on the market in the last fifty or so years, in 1972, at Sotheby's (1637 edition), and in 2014, at Binoche et Giquello (1643 edition).
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).