By: Giambattista Albrizzi
Date: 1740 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 13 x 17 inches (33 x 43 cm)
This superb, scarce Albrizzi map depicts territory in North America from the Rio Grande River to the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and extends north and east to include the Chesapeake and Delaware Rivers, and south to Florida and the Bahamas. It is based primarily on earlier works by French cartographer Guillaume De L’Isle and reveals much of what was accurate as well as inaccurate in his works.
The image is rich with detail. The Mississippi River system and its drainage basin are quite accurately drawn, based on information gleaned from the reports of La Salle’s exploration in 1682 and that of D’Iberville in 1701. Two large Mohawk villages are depicted in what would become the state of Virginia, as well as one in the territory labeled Apalache. The entire east coast and a portion of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are rendered with much detail.
A number of fortifications and smaller villages of indigenous peoples are scattered throughout the map. Florida shows a fortified St Augustine, and river systems and other topography are presented in detail.
Some of the misinformation shows an imaginary mountain range cutting across the Mississippi, the fanciful St John River (flowing to and from the Atlantic), the straight course of the Apalachicola, a mythical lake in the south Appalachians, and the general shape of the Florida peninsula.
The map is embellished with a fanciful large pictorial cartouche featuring a group of indigenous peoples with arrows drawn, preparing to fall on a pair of sleeping lions. A number of seagoing vessels are in the background of the cartouche, and a lovely compass rose is in the Atlantic to the east of St Augustine.
Condition: This hand coloured map is in A condition. There is one worm hole at the very edge at the top of the map, and a small separation at the neatline which has been repaired with archival material used to fortify the centerfold on the verso.
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