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Pierre Mortier: Carte Particuliere de Virginie, Maryland, Pennsylvanie

Map: USA9191
Cartographer: Pierre Mortier
Title: Carte Particuliere de Virginie, Maryland, Pennsylvanie
Date: 1700
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 34 inches / 87 cm
Height: 23 inches / 59 cm
Map ref: USA9191
Superb example of Mortier's version of Chesapeake Bay as surveyed by Augustine Herrman with north oriented to the right.

The ultimate source of this map was Augustine Herrman’s monumental survey issued in 1673. It immediately superseded the earlier survey by Smith and became the model for all maps of the region until the survey of Fry and Jefferson published in 1755.

The Herrman survey is known in only five institutional examples and is thought to have been issued in such tiny numbers that it is unlikely that it was ever a commercial enterprise. The commercial map on which Mortier based his work was first issued by John Thornton and William Fisher in 1689. According to the carto-bibliographies, Mortier’s map, issued in the “Suite de Neptune” in 1700, seems to be the first non-English map of the Chesapeake Bay based on Herrman’s survey.

The “Neptune Francois” was first issued simultaneously in Paris and Amsterdam by Hubert Jaillot and Pierre Mortier respectively in 1693. The project was highly successful and Mortier developed the Atlas by adding two more sections or volumes to it. The first, Vol II was also issued in 1693 and consisted of a set of charts provided by the noted Dutch artist Romeyn de Hooghe. Collectively these are known as the “ Cartes Marines a l’Usage des Armees du Roy de Grande Bretagne” and were originally drawn for William III of Great Britain. De Hooghe was primarily an artist and his charts bear a distinctive pictorial aspect. They have become renowned for their aesthetics, being cited as the most beautiful set of charts ever published. Volume III added in 1700, entitled “Suite de Neptune” concentrated on charts outside of French territory, including maps of the New World, the West Indies, South East Asia and the Indian Ocean among others.

Mortier’s edition was a prestige work. Later scholars have found that his book was the most expensive sea atlas produced in Amsterdam up to that time. On the rare occasions that an example of one of the maps in full original colour can be obtained, it is easily perceived why this work is cited as one of the finest and most spectacular atlases ever produced.

Magnificent original colour. [USA9191] (BC)
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