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SANSON, Nicolas.Engraved by SOMER, Jean.


ARCTIQUE ou SEPTENTRIONAL, et ANTARCTICQUE, ou MERIDIONAL, ou Description des Terres Arcticques et Antarctiques; et des Pays circomvoisins jusques aux 45 Degres de Latitude.

Published: Paris: Chez Pierre Mariette. 1655

Stock code: 56271

Price: £1,200

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

An attractive double hemisphere map based on the polar projections so as to include the northern and southern thirds of the world. The North pole is connected to Greenland and Spitzbergen but there is little other detailed coastline in the polar area. Europe, Russia and Canada are delineated. The South pole is based on the great unknown Southland of Magellan. The tip of S. America is shown, and a large land mass which encompasses the whole of the hemisphere, but nothing else, showing the limited extent of knowledge of these extreme latitudes. Extraordinarily enough, though, the southern projection, which shows little more than the outline of a vast landmass ‘Australe et Incogneue’, roughly corresponding to Antarctica as we know it today, long before any of it was discovered. Maps by Sanson in original colour are rare. Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667) French cartographer who established the first great cartographic dynasty in France. He was tutor to Louis XIV. Sanson published over 300 maps and was a founder of the French school of mapmakers, at a time when the leadership in European cartography passed from the Low Countries to France.

Copper engraving. Original colour. Very good condition; some browning to the centrefold and a stain to the upper left, not affecting the image. Size: 54 x 39 cm. (21 x 15 inches)

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