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Jean-Baptiste Nolin (ca. 1657-1708) was a French engraver who worked at the turn of the eighteenth century. Initially trained by Francois de Poilly, his artistic skills caught the eye of Vincenzo Coronelli when the latter was working in France. Coronelli encouraged the young Nolin to engrave his own maps, which he began to do. In 1694, he was appointed geographer to the Duke of Orleans and, in 1701, engraver to King Louis XIV.

Whereas Nolin was a skilled engraver, he was not an original geographer. He, like many of his contemporaries, borrowed liberally from existing maps. In Nolin’s case, he depended especially on the works of Coronelli and Jean-Nicholas de Tralage, the Sieur de Tillemon. This practice eventually caught Nolin in one of the largest geography scandals of the eighteenth century.

In 1700, Nolin published a large world map which Claude Delisle, son of the premier mapmaker of his age, Guillaume Delisile. Claude recognized Nolin’s map as being based in part on his father’s work. Guillaume had been working on a manuscript globe for Louis Boucherat, the chancellor of France, with exclusive information about the shape of California and the mouth of the Mississippi River. This information was printed on Nolin’s map. The court ruled in the Delisles’ favor after six years. Nolin had to stop producing that map, but he continued to make others.

Calling Nolin a plagiarist is unfair, as he was engaged in a practice that practically every geographer adopted at the time. Sources were few and copyright laws weak or nonexistent. Nolin’s maps are engraved with considerable skill and are aesthetically engaging.

Place/Date:
Paris / 1691 circa
Size:
32 x 25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56189

Archived

Place/Date:
Paris / 1698
Size:
20 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1265
Place/Date:
Paris / 1704
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
2303
Place/Date:
Paris / 1750
Size:
10.5 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6213
Place/Date:
Nuremberg / 1736
Size:
23 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1003
Place/Date:
Paris / 1755
Size:
10.5 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
14661
Place/Date:
Paris / 1740
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
15351
Place/Date:
Paris / 1690
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21051
Place/Date:
Paris / 1698
Size:
22 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22220
Place/Date:
Paris / 1698
Size:
23.5 x 19.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22223
Place/Date:
Paris / 1696
Size:
23.5 x 19.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22230
Place/Date:
Paris / 1711
Size:
33 x 22.5 inches (if joined)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22428
Place/Date:
Paris / 1691
Size:
32 x 25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24269
Place/Date:
Paris / 1700 circa
Size:
24 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1039hh
Place/Date:
Paris / 1749 circa
Size:
22.5 x 19.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26729