antique prints, maps and watercolors

Nolin, Jean Baptiste. (World) Paris, 1755. $1,500.00

 “Mappe Monde Carte Universelle de la Terre Dressess Sur les Relations les plus Nouvelles, Soumises aux Observations Astronomiques…”

This is the rare first edition of this striking map of the world. The depiction is described in two hemispheres. It includes recent cartographical information such as the Russian 1742 discoveries of the northwest coast of North America and shows a large Bay of the West and a Northwest Passage. Australia and New Zealand are only partially described as Captain James Cook’s voyage had not yet taken place.

There are fanciful allegorical depictions of the continents in the four corners of the map. The figure representing Europe is surrounded by symbols of her cultural supremacy with instruments and a painter’s palette as well as shields, arrows and spears. The dark-skinned figure representing Africa wears an elephant headdress and is surrounded by exotic animals such as a serpent and a lion. The figure of America is dressed in clothing made of feathers. The figure stands next to a monkey and an alligator.  Asia holds a smoking censer and a camel rests nearby. An orrery decorates the page at center bottom of the page. Ten astronomical diagrams decorate the panels on the left and right including one showing the surface of the sun, a pictorial explanation of the summer solstice, an illustration of the Copernican system, that of Tycho-Brahe, of a solar eclipse, the surface of the moon, the winter solstice, the Ptolemaic system, Descartes’ understanding of the rotation of the plants and a lunar eclipse.

Approximately, 21 x 29 inches overall.
Engraving.
Excellent condition save reinforced centerfold at bottom and light stain in the Indian Ocean.