The Kingdom of Siam by Placide de Sainte-Hélène. 1686
Carte du Royaume de Siam et des Pays Circonvoisins.
Old, antique map of the Kingdom of Siam and its neighbouring countries, by Placide de Sainte-Hélène.
Date of the first edition: 1686
Date of this map: 1686
Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 48 x 33.5cm (18.7 x 13.1 inches)
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Pastoureau, Placide #1: Suarez (SE Asia), p.213, fig.125; Not in Durant-Curtis.
From: Père Placide, Cartes de geographie. Paris, Augustin Dechaussé, beginning 18th cent. (Pastoureau, p.367 Placide)
This map shows the route of the first French embassy to the Kingdom of Siam.
Chevalier de Chaumont, to whom this map is dedicated, was the first French ambassador for King Louis XIV in Siam in 1685. He was bringing back to Siam the two ambassadors of the 1684 First Siamese Embassy to France.
Le Père Placide de Sainte-Hélène, who draw this map, was the brother in law of Pierre Duval, one of the foremost mapmakers in France in the second half of the seventeenth century. Placide made his engraved maps after Pierre Duval's death (1683), perhaps to help his widow and daughters. They were published under the name of Duval because Placide had not yet received a privilege. He later changed the imprint and put his own name on the map.
For the map of Siam, he incorporated data from the French embassy into older geographic models.
There are several states of the map which have small differences in the title- and bottom cartouche:
- Title cartouche: "... Par P. Du-Val Geographe Ordin.re du Roi ..." - Bottom cartouche: "A Paris Chez M.lle Du Val Fille de l'Auteur, sur le Quay de l'horloge a la couronne d'Or Avec Priv. du Roy pour 20. Ans. 1686."
- Title cartouche: "... Par le R.P. PLACIDE, Augustin Dechaussé, Geographe ordinaire de sa Majesté. ..." - Bottom cartouche: "A Paris Chez M.lle Du-Val Niesse de l'Auteur, sur le Quay de l'horloge a la Couronne d'Or Avec Priv. du Roy pour 20. Ans. 1686."
- Title: "... Par le R.P. Placide, Augustin Dechaussé ..." - No bottom cartouche.
Our map is the first state, the same as described by Pastoureau.