This is a beautiful example of Gerard Valk's 1702 map of the upper Burgundy region of eastern France. The map is centered on the Saone and the Doubs river valleys, and on the city of Besançon. the region was the County of Burgundy until the region and the neighboring Duchy of Burgundy were abolished during the French Revolution.
Burgundy The is region is one of France's main wine-producing areas, and is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. The map's beautifully engraved cartouche alludes to this: putti hold aloft a banner, garlanded with bunches of grapes. The gentleman with the jug, slouching against the cartouche, has not overindulged: he is a river god, in this case likely representing the Saone itself.
Publication History and CensusThis map appears on the market from time to time, and is well represented in institutional collections. Its dating is not the source of much agreement, complicated by the appearance of the map in composite atlases rather than a formally published work.
Gerard Valk (September 30, 1652 - October 21, 1726) (aka. Valck, Walck, Valcke), was a Dutch engraver, globe maker, and map publisher active in Amsterdam in the latter half of the 17th century and early 18th century. Valk was born in Amsterdam where his father, Leendert Gerritsz, was a silversmith. He studied mathematics, navigation, and cartography under Pieter Maasz Smit. Valk and moved to London in 1673, where he studied engraving under Abraham Blooteling (or Bloteling) (1634 - 1690), whose sister he married, and later worked for the map sellers Christopher Browne and David Loggan. Valke and Blooteling returned to Amsterdam in 1680 and applied for a 15-year privilege, a kind of early copyright, from the States General, which was granted in 1684. In 1687, he established his own firm in Amsterdam in partnership with Petrus (Pieter) Schenk, who had just married his sister, Agata. They published under the imprint of Valk and Schenk. Also, curiously in the same year Valk acquired the home of Jochem Bormeester, also engraver and son-in-law of art dealer Clement De Jonghe. Initially Valk and Schenk focused on maps and atlases, acquiring the map plates of Jodocus Hondius and Jan Jansson in 1694. Later, in 1701 they moved into the former Hendrick Hondius (the younger) offices where they began producing globes. Valk and Schenk soon acquired the reputation of producing the finest globes in the Netherlands, a business on which they held a near monopoly for nearly 50 years. In 1702, Valk joined the Bookseller's Guild of which he was promptly elected head. Around the same time, Gerard introduced his son, Leonard, who was married to Maria Schenk, to the business. Leonard spearheaded the acquisition of the map plates of Frederick de Wit in 1709. Nonetheless, Leonard was nowhere near as sophisticated a cartographer or businessman as his father and ultimately, through neglect, lost much the firm's prestige. After his death, the firm was taken over by his widow Maria. Learn More...
Very good condition; rich original color.