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Ancient Africa by Nicolas & Guillaume Sanson. 1667-69

Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667) - Guillaume Sanson (1633-1703)

Originally from Abbeville, Nicolas I Sanson showed a keen interest in historical geography. Still very young, he published a map of ancient Gaul and two treatises, Britannia and Portus Itius on Abbeville and Boulogne's origins. His meeting with Melchior Tavernier was decisive: it prompted him to give up his duties as a military engineer in Picardy and devote himself to engraved cartography.

At the same time, Sanson had drawn up the outline of modern France. He got the help of Tavernier who encouraged him to compete with the Dutch map publishers. Tavernier contacted other French cartographers whose works he published.

From 1643, N. Sanson obtained a privilege to publish a work personally, the Princes souverains de l'Italie. Then, in 1644 and 1645, he had his famous geographical tables printed, which significantly contributed to his fame. He also published a series of atlases in quarto of the four continents.

In 1648, N. Sanson associated himself with Mariette for the publishing of atlases. From then on, certain maps bore his name, and others Mariette's. N. Sanson and Mariette worked together for more than 20 years. After the death of N. Sanson, Mariette acquired the entire fund. Since Mariette only wanted to publish complete atlases, individual maps were no longer sold, and some army generals complained to the king.

The disagreement between the Sanson family and Pierre II Mariette culminated in 1671 when Guillaume Sanson took the case to court. From then on, there was no longer any question of collaboration: Guillaume Sanson started working for another publisher, Alexis-Hubert Jaillot.

The Sanson family faced financial difficulties, and in 1692, their cousin, Pierre Moullart-Sanson, bought the entire geographic fund from his uncles and aunt. Moullart-Sanson restarted the publishing of Sanson's world atlas, and in 1704 he acquired a privilege for publishing all the works of Nicolas and Guillaume Sanson, which continued to be published until 1730.


Pierre Mariette (1602-1658)

Bookseller, printseller, printer, and publisher, located in the Rue Saint-Jacques in Paris. On February 12, 1644, Pierre Mariette acquired most of Melchior Tavernier's fund. In 1646, he had a series of maps by Blaeu copied and asked Abraham Peyrounin to engrave them. In the meantime, he published the works of Nicolas Sanson. In 1650 he published the atlas Théâtre Géographique de France. A second edition followed in 1653. He later contributed to Sanson's atlas, the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde. Many maps of Mariette's Théatre appeared in later editions of Sanson's Cartes générales.

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Africa Vetus.

€450  ($477 / £382.5)
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Item Number:  30003 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Africa

Old, antique map of Ancient Africa by Nicolas & Guillaume Sanson.

Title: Africa Vetus.
Nicolai Sanson Christianiss. Galliar. Regis Geographi.
Recognita Emendata, et Multis in locis Mutata.
Conatibus Geographicis, Gulielmi Sanson N. Filii.
Lutetiae Parisiorum.
Apud Petrum Mariette Via Iacobaea Sub Signo Spei.
MDC LXVII.
Cum Privilegio ad Viginti Annos.


Date of the first edition: 1667.
Date of this map: 1667-69.
Date on map: 1667.

First state.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Image size: 400 x 555mm (15.75 x 21.85 inches).
Sheet size: 485 x 650mm (19.09 x 25.59 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: Original coloured in outline, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+.

From: Cartes generales de toutes les parties du monde, ou les empires, monarchies, republiques, estats, peuples,&c. le l'Asie, de l'Afrique, de l'Europe, & de l'Amerique, ... Par le Sieur d'Abbeville, A Paris, chez Pierre Mariette, ... M.DC.LXVII [1667-70]. (Pastoureau, Sanson V D 1667).

Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667) - Guillaume Sanson (1633-1703)

Originally from Abbeville, Nicolas I Sanson showed a keen interest in historical geography. Still very young, he published a map of ancient Gaul and two treatises, Britannia and Portus Itius on Abbeville and Boulogne's origins. His meeting with Melchior Tavernier was decisive: it prompted him to give up his duties as a military engineer in Picardy and devote himself to engraved cartography.

At the same time, Sanson had drawn up the outline of modern France. He got the help of Tavernier who encouraged him to compete with the Dutch map publishers. Tavernier contacted other French cartographers whose works he published.

From 1643, N. Sanson obtained a privilege to publish a work personally, the Princes souverains de l'Italie. Then, in 1644 and 1645, he had his famous geographical tables printed, which significantly contributed to his fame. He also published a series of atlases in quarto of the four continents.

In 1648, N. Sanson associated himself with Mariette for the publishing of atlases. From then on, certain maps bore his name, and others Mariette's. N. Sanson and Mariette worked together for more than 20 years. After the death of N. Sanson, Mariette acquired the entire fund. Since Mariette only wanted to publish complete atlases, individual maps were no longer sold, and some army generals complained to the king.

The disagreement between the Sanson family and Pierre II Mariette culminated in 1671 when Guillaume Sanson took the case to court. From then on, there was no longer any question of collaboration: Guillaume Sanson started working for another publisher, Alexis-Hubert Jaillot.

The Sanson family faced financial difficulties, and in 1692, their cousin, Pierre Moullart-Sanson, bought the entire geographic fund from his uncles and aunt. Moullart-Sanson restarted the publishing of Sanson's world atlas, and in 1704 he acquired a privilege for publishing all the works of Nicolas and Guillaume Sanson, which continued to be published until 1730.


Pierre Mariette (1602-1658)

Bookseller, printseller, printer, and publisher, located in the Rue Saint-Jacques in Paris. On February 12, 1644, Pierre Mariette acquired most of Melchior Tavernier's fund. In 1646, he had a series of maps by Blaeu copied and asked Abraham Peyrounin to engrave them. In the meantime, he published the works of Nicolas Sanson. In 1650 he published the atlas Théâtre Géographique de France. A second edition followed in 1653. He later contributed to Sanson's atlas, the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde. Many maps of Mariette's Théatre appeared in later editions of Sanson's Cartes générales.

References: Pastoureau - p. 415, #170; Betz - p. 344-345, 106.1

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