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The British Isles by G. Delisle, published by Pierre Husson. c. 1709

Guillaume Delisle (Paris, 1675 – 1726)

Guillaume Delisle (de L’Isle), one of the key figures in the development of French cartography, is the son of Claude Delisle, a cartographer, and the half-brother of astronomers Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Louis de l'Isle de la Croyère.

While his father has to be given credit for educating Guillaume, the boy showed early signs of being an exceptional talent. He soon contributed to the family workshop by drawing maps for his father's historical works. To perfect his skills, Guillaume Delisle became the student of the astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini. Early on, he produced high-quality maps, the first being his Carte de la Nouvelle-France et des Pays Voisins in 1696. Delisle's first atlas appeared around 1700, and in 1702 he became a member of the French Académie Royale des Sciences. He taught geography to the young Louis XV, and in 1718 he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. On a commission from Peter the Great, he produced a map of the Caspian Sea, a region barely known. Many of the place names he gave are still in use. His Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) is the first detailed map of this region.

A six-year-long plagiarism trial pits Delisle against Jean-Baptiste Nolin, cartographer. It is Nolin, the real plagiarist, who loses.

Delisle has remained famous for his astronomical-based corrections and the completeness of its topography. The high scientific quality of the work produced by the Delisle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, Delisle constantly updated his maps to reflect widening knowledge of the world.


Pierre Husson (1678-1733)

Pierre (Pieter), a publisher in Den Haag, was a neighbour of Mrs Anna Beek, with whom he shared his interest in publishing plans of battlefields and fortifications during the War of Succession (1702-1713).
A collection of maps and plans by various authors was brought together in an atlas, to which was added the title page of Nicolas Visscher's Variae tabulae geographicae in quibus loca in orbe bello, now with the address of Pierre Husson.

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Les Isles Britanniques ou sont le Rme d'Angleterre tiré de Sped celuy d'Ecosse tiré de Th.Pont &c. et celuy d'Irlande tire de Petti,

€750  ($810 / £637.5)
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Item Number:  29562 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > British Isles

Scarce antique map of the British Isles, by Guillaume Delisle, published by Pierre Husson.

Title: Les Isles Britanniques ou sont le Rme d'Angleterre tiré de Sped celuy d'Ecosse tiré de Th.Pont &c. et celuy d'Irlande tire de Petti,
le tout rectifié par diverses Observations.
Par G. De L'Isle Geographe de l'Academie Royale des Sciences.
a la Haye Chez P. Husson.

[Title above map:] Magnae Britanniae Tabula, Comprehens Angliae, Scotiae, ac Hiberniae Regna in omnes suas Provincias Accuraté divisa.


Date of the first edition: 1702 (Delisle).
Date of this map: c. 1709.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Map size: 470 x 555mm (18.5 x 21.85 inches).
Sheet size: 520 x 615mm (20.47 x 24.21 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+.

From: Variae tabulae geographicae un quibus loca in orbe bello flagrantia conspiciuntur ut in Flandria, Brabantia, Leodiensi Tractu, Germania, Hungaria, . . . Diverses cartes de geographie, où l'in peut voir le theatre de la guerre dans tout le monde. Comme dans les pais de Flandres, de Brabant, de Liège, d'Allemagne, de Hongrie, . . . Den Haag, P. Husson, s.d. (c. 1709). (Koeman II, p. 155, Hus1)

Guillaume Delisle (Paris, 1675 – 1726)

Guillaume Delisle (de L’Isle), one of the key figures in the development of French cartography, is the son of Claude Delisle, a cartographer, and the half-brother of astronomers Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Louis de l'Isle de la Croyère.

While his father has to be given credit for educating Guillaume, the boy showed early signs of being an exceptional talent. He soon contributed to the family workshop by drawing maps for his father's historical works. To perfect his skills, Guillaume Delisle became the student of the astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini. Early on, he produced high-quality maps, the first being his Carte de la Nouvelle-France et des Pays Voisins in 1696. Delisle's first atlas appeared around 1700, and in 1702 he became a member of the French Académie Royale des Sciences. He taught geography to the young Louis XV, and in 1718 he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. On a commission from Peter the Great, he produced a map of the Caspian Sea, a region barely known. Many of the place names he gave are still in use. His Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) is the first detailed map of this region.

A six-year-long plagiarism trial pits Delisle against Jean-Baptiste Nolin, cartographer. It is Nolin, the real plagiarist, who loses.

Delisle has remained famous for his astronomical-based corrections and the completeness of its topography. The high scientific quality of the work produced by the Delisle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, Delisle constantly updated his maps to reflect widening knowledge of the world.


Pierre Husson (1678-1733)

Pierre (Pieter), a publisher in Den Haag, was a neighbour of Mrs Anna Beek, with whom he shared his interest in publishing plans of battlefields and fortifications during the War of Succession (1702-1713).
A collection of maps and plans by various authors was brought together in an atlas, to which was added the title page of Nicolas Visscher's Variae tabulae geographicae in quibus loca in orbe bello, now with the address of Pierre Husson.

References: Shirley (BI to 1750) - p. 72, Husson 1 & p. 50 Delisle 1

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