ROBERT DE VAUGONDY, Gilles (1686-1766)
Amérique Septentrionale et Meridionale divisée en ses principales parties par les S[ieu]rs Sanson ... rectifiée suivant les nouvelles découvertes ... par le S[ieu]r. Robert
Paris: Vaugondy, 1749. Copper-engraved map, with original outline colour. In good condition, with two small repairs to lower blank margin. Sheet size: 21 5/8 x 28 3/4 inches.
The rare first issue of this very fine eighteenth-century map depicting both North and South America, by one of France's greatest cartographers.
This highly attractive map depicts the American continent at a time when the European powers were jockeying for power and possessions in the the New World: the period immediately before the Seven Years' War. It is one of Gilles Robert's earlier original maps, and concurrently he also issued a world map and maps of the three other continents. Its rarity can be explained by the fact that it was not apparently usually issued in any of the Robert atlases. The political realities of the time are spelt out in the interesting engraved panel on the right hand side which lists the holdings of Britain, France, Portugal, Holland, Denmark and Spain in the Americas. Also included in this panel is a list of the dominant religions in the region. The map includes two insets: one of Martinique and the other of Santo Domingo, two immensely profitable French colonies (they shared Santo Domingo with the Spanish). The elegant title cartouche is by Gobin and features a Native American reclining beside a spilled pot of gold, her arms raised in exultation as she accepts Christianity, as personified by the Blessed Virgin holding a Cross. The scene also includes flora and fauna indigenous to the Americas: an alligator, a parrot, a goat, a small, rather unusual quadruped with a long tail and two tropical trees. This map was re-issued in 1771, 1776 and 1778 with a new cartouche incorporating a new title "Amérique ou Indes Occidentales".
Pedley Bel et Utile, 19 (1st state) & see pp.34/35 (double-page plate).