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1780 Esnauts and Rapilly Case Map of Paris

Nouveau Plan Routier de la Ville et Faubourgs de Paris. - Main View

1780 Esnauts and Rapilly Case Map of Paris


Pristine 18th century case or pocket map of Paris, France.


Nouveau Plan Routier de la Ville et Faubourgs de Paris.
  1780 (dated)     22.5 x 32 in (57.15 x 81.28 cm)     6.194444444


An extraordinary map of pre-Haussmann pre-Revolutionary Paris and the early Faubourgs (suburbs) issued in 1780, during the final decade of the French Monarchy. Covers Paris on Both sides of the Seine from the Ecole Militaire to the Hospital de la Roquette, extends north as far as Montmarte and south roughly to Les Gobelins. Produced at the height of French dominance of the cartographic arts, this map is a masterpiece of the engraver's art. Individual buildings, fields, streets, hills, valleys, orchards, and public gardens are revealed in breathtaking detail. We can even see the incomplete state of the northern wing of the Louvre Palace. There is an elaborate street index on either side of the map. An allegorical neoclassical title cartouche featuring war trophies appears in the upper right quadrant.

This type of map, known as a pocket or case map, is designed with the traveler in mind and while it displays beautifully unfolded, is designed to fold and fit in a vest or coat pocket. It accordance with its purpose, the map has been dissected and mounted on linen in 24 sections. This system was devised in the 18th century to protect folding maps against damage caused by repeated folding and unfolding. The linen backing absorbs the stress of folding and can easily be mended or replaced, thuis preserving the integrity of the actual paper document. Folded this map fits into a beautiful brown tooled leather slip case, which is included.


Esnauts and Rapilly (fl. c. 1775 - 1811) were Paris based print sellers and publishers active in the latter part of the 18th century. The firm was founded by Jacques Esnauts and Michel Rapilly. Esnauts and Rapilly are best known not for their cartographic works, but rather for their fashion prints. The important publication La Galerie des Modes highlighted the fashions of the French aristocracy just prior to the French Revolution and is considered to be the first published "fashion magazine". At this time, Paris was the center of the fashion world and Esnauts and Rapilly's plates were widely distributed to eager fashionistas the world over. The firm also published a number of important and influential maps including several depicting pivotal moments in the American Revolutionary War. Not wanting to miss out on potential customers, Esnauts and Rapilly gave exact directions to their bookshop on many of their publications: "at the Baker's shop, opposite the Cutler." More by this mapmaker...


Very good condition. Very minor spotting. Dissected and mounted on linen in 24 sections. Original linen stable. Comes with original gilded leather case stamped with 'Plan de Paris'.


Vallee, Leon, Catalogue des plans de Paris et des cartes de l'ile de France, (Bibliotheque Nacionale) 1143 - 1144.