This is an attractive c. 1719 view and map of Cuba from the German edition of Mallet's Description. This map combines the virtues of a traditional map and a view. Cuba and Jamaica, the subject matter at hand, are illustrated in map format while Florida and the southern Bahamas, appearing at the top of the map, are represented in View Form. The amp extends west as far as the Yucatan and south to the Spanish Main. In the seas between Cuba and the Spanish Main there are two pitched naval battles in evidence - perhaps an early illustration of piracy which, at the time was rife in the Caribbean.
Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) was a French cartographer, grammarian, engineer and mathematician, active in the mid to late 17th century. Despite being born in France, as a young man Mallet joined the Portuguese - yes Portuguese - army where he served as a Sergeant-Major. Later he was able to levy his war experience into a career as Inspector of Fortifications for Louis XIV of France. It was in this position, where his work entailed examining and sketching various fortresses, that Mallet developed his cartographic interests. His most important work is his monumental five volume opus Description de L'Univers, published in 1683. This impressive work described the cultures, governments, lands, and customs of all the known peoples of the earth and included numerous maps and engravings. At the time, the Description was the largest and most comprehensive work of its kind ever published. A year later, in 1684, he published his 3 volume Les Travaux de Mars ou l'Art de la Guerre. Mallet is also known for his invention of the "dumpy bubble", a telescopic sight incorporating a level bubble used for surveying and astronomical observations.
Mallet. A. M, Description de L'Univers, (Frankfurt) 1719.
Very good. Platemark visible. Blank on verso.