Carte Particulière des Postes de France. #2216

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DATE: 1693

MAP MAKER: Nicolas Sanson.

SIZE: 23 1/4" X 26 3/82".

PRICE: $900.00


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 Scottish 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 major atlas "Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde" published in 1654, 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 côte est possédée par les portugais et divisée en quatorze capitaineries" (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.


Carte Particulière des Postes de France.

This very large map (24 ¼" X 26 3/8") in two sheets is one of the last of a long series of derivatives. Sanson and Melchior Tavernier came up in 1632 with a world first: mapping the infrastructure network used daily by the French Postal Service.
Sanson recycled it in the 1654 "Cartes Générales de toute les parties du Monde" (Tavernier was one of the engravers for this major work).
Later, Alexis Hubert Jaillot, with Sanson's heirs, used a constantly updating plate in his 1681 Atlas Nouveau, published first in Paris, and then in Amsterdam.
The present item seems to have been printed for a 1693 issue of said work.
Of course, the major interesting feature is the intricate and dense connecting highway network that the French Posts had been able to build over the territory (empty spots indicating areas of "resistance" to the central power; e.g. Brittany).
Mail, goods and travelers were constantly moving over these well maintained and patrolled roads, inns were always well stocked, fresh horses were always available to pull the stagecoaches, and communications were quite fast over such a vast expanse (in the bottom left cartouche, check the three messengers reaching the stop over...).
No text on verso.






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