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Magnificent world atlas with 119 very large maps, in contemporary colouring
with a rare extra-inserted map of the naval Battle of Portobello in Panama

L'ISLE (DELISLE), Guillaume.
Atlas nouveau, contenant toutes les parties du monde.
With: SANSON, Guillaume. Inleidinge tot de geographie.
Amsterdam, Johannes Covens I & Cornelis Mortier, [1741 with additions to 1745]. 3 volumes. Imperial folio. With an engraved frontispiece drawn and executed by Romeyn De Hooghe, 2 letterpress title-pages in red and black, each with an engraved vignette; 119 engraved maps (plus 1 duplicate), all double-page except for 7 larger folding. With the frontispiece and all but two maps coloured by a contemporary hand, the maps in outline. Contemporary, uniform, mottled and richly gold-tooled calf, each board with a large centrepiece. Some tools appear to match those used by the so-called Waaierbinderij in The Hague, active ca. 1732-ca. 1745.
€ 65,000
A rare, beautiful, accurate and influential world atlas with 119 very large maps (most 54 x 65 cm & plate size ca. 48 x 60 cm, but a few larger folding), all but 2 coloured in outline by a contemporary hand. Many of the maps include fine pictorial decorations, inset maps or city plans, coats of arms or decorative cartouches. Nearly all are by the great Paris cartographer Guillaume de l'Isle (1675-1726). The present copy includes Philippe Durell's rare 1740 map of the 1739 naval Battle of Portobello in Panama, where British forces defeated the Spanish and took the city of Portobello, giving them control of the strategically important bay. This map does not appear in any of the contents lists for the various editions of the present atlas and Koeman does not record it in any atlas at all, so the atlas's owner probably either acquired the separately published map and inserted it in the atlas or had Covens and Mortier add it to the normal contents. Henry Popple's six maps of British North America are also of special interest and among the latest maps in the album, not yet included in the list of contents for the 1742 edition but advertised on 6 February 1742 to appear in a few days. The set comprises an overview map, 4 maps that could be assembled to form one large wall map, and a double-page plate with 19 detail maps of ports and islands. In addition to the modern maps, the atlas includes 16 maps at the end that attempt to show the world during antiquity and in the Middle Ages. Romeyn de Hooghe "c[ommissarius] r[egius] et j[uris] u[triusque] d[octor]" originally drew and executed the lovely allegorical frontispiece for Pieter Mortier's atlases in 1694, with a dedication to the Louis, Duke of Burgundy (later known as Le Petit Dauphin). Michael Bischoff singles it out as "an absolutely over-the-top highpoint" of the art of the emblematic frontispiece in early modern atlasses. Koeman locates only one copy of the atlas, but notes another in a 1963 auction that might be the present copy (we have not seen the catalogue).
With a tear along the fold at the foot of 1 folding map (running 1 cm into the map image), and a tear in the fore-edge margin of 2 text leaves (just entering the text block) but otherwise in very good condition and with large margins, retaining many deckles on the fore-edge and only slightly trimmed at the head and foot. The chemicals used to mottle the calf binding have eaten into the surface of the leather, the hinges are cracked and there are chips (mostly in the spine and at the corners), but most of the tooling remains clear. A magnificent hand-coloured atlas of the world, with 119 very large maps, mostly by De l'Isle.
Marco van Egmond, Covens & Mortier, pp. 139-142; Koeman C & M 7 (1 copy located, but noting an unlocated variant that might be the present copy); Van der Krogt, Advertenties 848, 882 & 893; Sijmons 86; STCN (2 copies of the Geographie; but only other editions of the Atlas); for the frontispiece: Michael Bischoff, "Zinnebeelden op titelpagina's van vroegmoderne atlassen", in: Caert-thresoor, 34 (2015), pp. 3-12, at p. 11 & fig. 19; not in Landwehr, De Hooghe book illustrator; Landwehr, De Hooghe etcher.
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