Le Bresil, dont la coste est possedée par les portugais et divisée en quatorze capitanieries. - #2006

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DATE: 1656

MAP MAKER: HNicolas Sanson.

SIZE: 7 ¼" x 6 ¼"

PRICE: $1100.00


Nicolas Sanson (aka: Sanson d'Abbeville); 1600-1667.
Nicolas Sanson, son; 1626-1648.
Guillaume Sanson, son; c1630-1703.
Adrien Sanson, son; c1630-1708.
Pierre Moulard Sanson, grand son; c1660-1730.

Born of an old Picardy house of Scot descent, Sanson was educated by the Jesuits of Amiens.
A trained historian, Sanson branched into cartography to better illustrate his tutorial works.
Attracting the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, he was soon appointed "Géographe Ordinaire du Roi". He was actually educating Louis XIII of France (and then Louis XIV), in the related matters.
He is most well known for his 1654 major atlas "Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde", with several re-editions (the last one in 1676 was named "Cartes générales de la géographie anciennes et nouvelles").
But his call to fame comes from the preparation of a few maps which proved to be seminal, and influenced generally accepted continent delineations for many decades to come.
Among others: "Amérique septentrionale" in 1650 noted for the "island" California, "le Canada ou nouvelle France" noted for its first accurate representation of the great lakes, and "Le Brésil dont la coste." (both in 1656).
Upon his death, his successors ran a continued successful business, in particular thanks to their excellent partnership with Pierre Duval (his son-in-law), and Alexis Hubert Jaillot. Both men re-engraved a lot of his plates, and prepared the unfinished maps he did not have the opportunity to print.
The Sanson dynasty is often credited for planting the seeds of the golden age of French cartography in competition with the Dutch school.

Le Bresil, dont la coste est possedée par les portugais et divisée en quatorze capitanieries.

This large map (21 3/8" X 15 ½") showing in detail the fourteen captainships of Brazil, was so influential in its days that it remained the cartographic reference for over a century (it is known to have been printed till 1798).
All indications are that it was prepared for the 1658 edition of "Cartes Générales".
The printing date of the present item is not known, but the fact that the engraver limited his mark to J Somer* points to an early edition.
The map shows the Portuguese colonial administration, based on the hereditary system of regional captainships (Para, Maragnan, Siara, Rio Grande, Paraiba, Tamaraca, Pernambuco, Seregipe, Bahia, Isleos, Porto Seguro, Spiritu Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Santo Vincente); all east of the line of the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas line (when pope Alexander VI allocated to Portugal all new lands discovered east of a line located 370 leagues west of the Cabo Verde islands).
The fifteenth area: the Amazon basin is left pretty much devoid of features.
Notice that the longitudes are given east of the Ferro Island, as it was customary at Sanson's time. Also notice the fabled lake Parime (top left), where the mythical El Dorado was located.
No text on verso.

*see bottom right: the engraver will soon show his full name:Jean Somer Pruthenus.







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