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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rare Travel Book & Map of the Day:Spectacular travel book of the Day: "Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain Xaintongeois, Capitaine ordinaire pour le Roy, en la marine. Divisez en deux livres. Ou, Journal tres-fidele des observations faites és descouvertures de la Nouvelle France.." with “Carte Geographique De La Nouvelle Franse” Samuel De Champlain (ca. 1570-1635, Quebec)

Copperplate engraving
Paper size: 17" x 30"
Paris, 1613

Offered along with the corresponding travel book, profiled here
The scientific exploration and mapping of New France began with the work of Samuel de Champlain, whose exceedingly rare, monumental depictions of the American Northeast are the most important and accurate 17th-century maps of the vast region. The celebrated French explorer based his maps on his own early discoveries in New France and New England in the early 1600s, and published them to accompany the accounts of his voyages. Champlain's explorations were the first of the 17th-century to have a major cartographic effect, and his claims in the New World helped establish French possession of New France.

Champlain's Carte Geographique de la Nouvelle Franse is the explorer’s first significant map of the vast area. Exquisitely engraved, it is beautifully decorated with sailing ships, strapwork borders, examples regional flora and fauna, and early depictions of Native Americans. Yet decoration and natural history observations account for just one small fraction of this map's importance. Champlain's explorations as recorded in Nouvelle Franse went further than any had gone before, and the geographical discoveries that can be credited to the explorer are too numerous to delineate fully. The southern and western coasts of Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy and the coast of New Brunswick are accurately and minutely depicted. These areas were explored by the French while searching for a suitable command post for the colony. Quebec, founded by Champlain in 1608, takes the form of a citadel flying the French flag. At the time it was a mere trading post, destined to become a great city.

Further up the St. Lawrence, Champlain indicates and names Montreal, founded in 1611. Of great interest are two large lakes to the west of Montreal, "Lac Contenant 15 journees des canaux des savages" and "grand lac contenant 300 lieux de long." Based on reports from the Indians, the first is Lake Ontario, while the second is less easily identified, and could be a composite of the other large lakes, or an optimistic view of the western ocean. Here, more than any other map, is the beginning of the mapping of the Great Lakes. Additional voyages made by Champlain, as official geographer and mapmaker to the colony, provided the crucial information for the earliest accurate delineation of the New England coast. Nouvelle Franse includes Cape Ann, Boston harbor, and Cape Cod, the furthest southern point reached in 1605. During the summer of 1606, Champlain led the last New England voyage south along the coast as far as Martha's Vineyard. These discoveries preceded the important English voyage by Captain John Smith and Adrian Block by several years, and Champlain's map of 1613 was the first view of these areas made available to fascinated Europeans

**UPDATE**
Similar example sold at Bloomsbury auction on December 3, 2009, lot 67, for $751,000. (See Below)

Offered well blow this auction value at $550,000.
 

Arader Galleries intends to have the lowest prices on ABE, Alibris, Biblio, AE, and Artnet while maintaining the highest levels of quality in the business for every offering. To inquire or view the complete offering, please contact our curators at info@aradernyc.com or call our 72nd Street NYC gallery at (212) 628-3668 

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