This is a beautiful 1700 map or plan of the city of Madrid, Spain by Nicholas De Fer. Centered on the Puerta del Sol, this map covers the center of modern Madrid, Spain's capital city, as well as the surrounding parks, farms, and estates - most of which have since been urbanized. The Buen Retiro Palace and Park are noted and beautifully rendered. The map shows the entire city in extraordinary detail offering rich topographical information with beautifully rendered farms and estates. A key in the top right quadrant lists twenty six places of interest marked on the map.
At the time, all of Spain was witnessing the War of the Spanish Succession. After the death of the Spanish Habsburg King Charles II, the Spanish crown passed onto his successor Prince Philip of Anjou. Fearing that a union between France and Spain would threaten the balance of power in Europe, the Grand Alliance of the Holy Roman Empire, Portugal, Dutch Republic and the Duchy of Savoy declared war claiming the Spanish throne for Archduke Charles of Austria instead of Philip. The city of Madrid would be captured by King John V of Portugal in 1706, and recovered by King Philip V at the end of the same year. In 1711, when the Austrian Emperor Joseph I died leaving Archduke Charles as his successor, an even greater threat of an Austrian-Spanish Alliance loomed if Charles were to claim the throne to both Austria and Spain. The war would end in 1714 with the signing of the treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden. Philip would become King of Spain after all, on the condition that he is removed from the French line of succession. Spain lost many of its territories and granted Great Britain asiento. This map was created by Nicholas De Fer for his 1701 Atlas.
Nicholas de Fer (1646 - October 25, 1720) was a French cartographer and publisher, the son of cartographer Antoine de Fer. He apprenticed with the Paris engraver Louis Spirinx, producing his first map, of the Canal du Midi, at 23. When his father died in June of 1673 he took over the family engraving business and established himself on Quai de L'Horloge, Paris, as an engraver, cartographer, and map publisher. De Fer was a prolific cartographer with over 600 maps and atlases to his credit. De Fer's work, though replete with geographical errors, earned a large following because of its considerable decorative appeal. In the late 17th century, De Fer's fame culminated in his appointment as Geographe de le Dauphin, a position that offered him unprecedented access to the most up to date cartographic information. This was a partner position to another simultaneously held by the more scientific geographer Guillaume De L'Isle, Premier Geograph de Roi. Despite very different cartographic approaches, De L'Isle and De Fer seem to have stepped carefully around one another and were rarely publicly at odds. Upon his death of old age in 1720, Nicolas was succeeded by two of his sons-in-law, who also happened to be brothers, Guillaume Danet (who had married his daughter Marguerite-Geneviève De Fer), and Jacques-François Bénard (Besnard) Danet (husband of Marie-Anne De Fer), and their heirs, who continued to publish under the De Fer imprint until about 1760. It is of note that part of the De Fer legacy also passed to the engraver Remi Rircher, who married De Fer's third daughter, but Richer had little interest in the business and sold his share to the Danet brothers in 1621.
Fer, Nicholas de, Cartes et Descriptions Generales et Particulieres pour l'intelligence des affaires du temps, au sujet de la Succession de la Couronne d'Espagne, en Europe, en Asie, Afrique, et Amerique, (Paris) 1701.
Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Minor overall toning and some spotting.