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Pierre Mortier: Carte de l'Entree de la Tamise

Map: GB2025
Cartographer: Pierre Mortier
Title: Carte de l'Entree de la Tamise
Date: 1708
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 34 inches / 87 cm
Height: 23 inches / 59 cm
Map ref: GB2025
Spectacular Dutch sea chart of the Thames Estuary and the North Sea coast of Kent, Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk. A small inset shows the course of the Thames to London. This map is oriented with west at the top of the page.

As with many of these original charts from Mortier's Neptune Francais, it was sourced from the archives of the French Navy and used as a template for several later 18th century chart makers including Jacques Nicholas Bellin and de Mannevillette.

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. [GB2025] (BC)

Click here to read our Map of the Month feature about Pierre Mortier's "Neptune Francois"