Mallet, Alain Manesson. ST. AUGUS . DE FLORIDE. Paris: Published in Mallet’s “Description de l’Universe”, 1683

Copperplate engraving. Fine.

5.75″ x 4.25″-14.6 x 10.7 cm.

A charming early view of St. Augustine, Florida with ships in the foreground and the town and citadel in the background. St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and became the first European settlement in North America. To protect the settlement the Spanish troops started working on a new citadel (Castillo de San Marcos) in 1672 and finally finished it in 1695. It withstood many attacks throughout history from the English buccaneers to local Native Americans. It’s secret to longevity is purportedly that it was made of coquina (a sedimentary rock comprised of shells).