1705 Sanson / Mortier Map of the Kerch Strait with Crimea and Russia

Bosphorus Cimmerius et Regnum Bosphoranum. - Main View

1705 Sanson / Mortier Map of the Kerch Strait with Crimea and Russia


Uncommon early map of Crimea and the Kerch Strait.


Bosphorus Cimmerius et Regnum Bosphoranum.
  1705 (undated)     16.5 x 20 in (41.91 x 50.8 cm)     1 : 880000


This is a beautiful 1705 of the Kerch Strait issued by Pierre Mortier. The map covers the Kerch Strait between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, including the regions of southern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula and Krasnodar Krai in Southwest Russia. The region is speculatively mapped, reflecting on what was know of this particular area in the early 18th century. Wonderfully engraved, it notes several important towns, many of which are unrecognizable today, except Theodosia (present day Feodosiya), which is beautifully rendered with fields and forests. Topography is rendered in profile throughout. A decorative title cartouche is included in the top right quadrant.

This map, originally issued by Nicolas Sanson in 1665 is a 1705 Pierre Mortier reissue published in Joannes Clericus’ Atlas antiquus, sacer, ecclesiasticus et profanus / collectus ex tabulis geograph. Nic. Sansonis ...


Nicolas Sanson (1600 - 1667) and his descendants were the most influential French cartographers of the 17th century and laid the groundwork for the Golden Age of French Cartography. Sanson started his career as a historian where, it is said, he turned to cartography as a way to illustrate his historical studies. In the course of his research some of his fine maps came to the attention of King Louis XIII who, admiring the quality of his work, appointed Sanson Geographe Ordinaire du Roi. Sanson's duties in this coveted position included advising the king on matters of geography and compiling the royal cartographic archive. In 1644 he partnered with Pierre Mariette, an established print dealer and engraver, whose business savvy and ready capital enabled Sanson to publish an enormous quantity of maps. Sanson's corpus of some three hundred maps initiated the golden age of French mapmaking and he is considered the 'Father of French Cartography.' His work is distinguished as being the first of the 'Positivist Cartographers,' a primarily French school of cartography that valued scientific observation over historical cartographic conventions. The practice result of the is less embellishment of geographical imagery, as was common in the Dutch Golden Age maps of the 16th century, in favor of conventionalized cartographic representational modes. Sanson is most admired for his construction of the magnificent atlas Cartes Generales de Toutes les Parties du Monde. Sanson's maps of North America, Amerique Septentrionale (1650), Le Nouveau Mexique et La Floride (1656), and La Canada ou Nouvelle France (1656) are exceptionally notable for their important contributions to the cartographic perceptions of the New World. Both maps utilize the discoveries of important French missionaries and are among the first published maps to show the Great Lakes in recognizable form. Sanson was also an active proponent of the insular California theory, wherein it was speculated that California was an island rather than a peninsula. After his death, Sanson's maps were frequently republished, without updates, by his sons, Guillaume (1633 - 1703) and Adrien Sanson (? - 1708). Even so, Sanson's true cartographic legacy as a 'positivist geographer' was carried on by others, including Alexis-Hubert Jaillot, Guillaume De L'Isle, Gilles Robert de Vaugondy, and Pierre Duval.

Pierre Mortier (1661 - 1711) or Pieter Mortier was a cartographer, engraver, and print seller active in Amsterdam during the later 17th and early 18th centuries. Mortier, then known as Pieter, was born in Leiden. He relocated to Paris from 1681 to 1685, adopting the French name Pierre, which he retained throughout his career. There is developed deep French connections by bringing sophisticated Dutch printing technology and experience to nascent French map publishers such as De L'Isle, Sanson, Jaillot, de Fer and De Wit. Consequently, much of Mortier's business was built upon issuing embellished high quality editions of contemporary French maps. In the greater context of global cartography, this was a significant advantage as most Dutch map publishes had, at this point, fallen into the miasma of reprinting their own outdated works. By contrast, the cartographers of France were producing the most accurate and up to date charts anywhere. Mortier's cartographic work culminated in the magnificent nautical atlas, Le Neptune Francois. H was awarded the Privilege, an early form of copyright, in 1690. Upon Pierre's death in 1711 this business was inherited by his widow. In 1721, his son Cornelius Mortier took over the day to day operation of the firm. Cornelius partnered with his brother-in-law Jean Covens to form one of history's great cartographic partnerships - Covens and Mortier - which continued to publish maps and atlases until about 1866.


Leclerc, J., Atlas antiquus, sacer, ecclesiasticus et profanus / collectus ex tabulis geograph. Nic. Sansonis ..., (Amsterdam) 1705.    


Very good. Some wear and creasing along original centerfold with minor toning. Original platemark visible.


OCLC: 430500224.