Nicolas Sanson

Nicolas Sanson

Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667) is considered the father of French cartography in its golden age from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. Over the course of his career he produced over 300 maps; they are known for their clean style and extensive research. Sanson was largely responsible for beginning the shift of cartographic production and excellence from Amsterdam to Paris in the later-seventeenth century.

Sanson was born in Abbeville in Picardy. He made his first map at age twenty, a wall map of ancient Gaul. Upon moving to Paris, he gained the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who made an introduction of Sanson to King Louis XIII. This led to Sanson's tutoring of the king and the granting of the title ingenieur-geographe du roi.

His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Early in his career, Sanson worked primarily with the publisher Melchior Tavernier. Mariette purchased Tavernier’s business in 1644. Sanson worked with Mariette until 1657, when the latter died. Mariette’s son, also Pierre, helped to publish the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde (1658), Sanson' atlas and the first French world atlas.


1654 - Les Isles Philippines Molucques et de la Sonde . . . 1654 [Includes Taiwan & Singpore]

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Sanson's Map of the Philippines, &c. Early map of the region bounded by Taiwan in the north, Cambodia, the Straits of Malaca, Sumatra the Northwest Coast of Australia and the Ladrones, centered on the Philippines. One of the earliest maps of the...


1656 - La Chine Royaume . . . 1656

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First state of Sanson's scarce map of China and Korea, first published in 1656. This important and attractive French map of China is based on an indigenous Chinese map copied by Jesuit, Matteo Ricci, and brought back to Rome in 1590 by his fellow...


1654 - L'Inde deca et dela le Gange, ou est L'Empire du Grand Mogol Et Pays Circonvoisins Tiree de Purchas . . . 1654

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Fine Map of South Asia and the Mughal Empire by Renowned Mapmaker Sanson Detailed map showing a large swath of South Asia by the skilled mapmaker Nicolas Sanson. The map is centered on the portion of Asia north of the Indian subcontinent. It...


1683 - L'Empire du Grand Mogol

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Fine old color example of this fine 17th Century map of India and Central Asia by Nicolas Sanson. The map extends from Persia in the West to Lake Chimay and the Bay of Bengal, with the Himalaya Mountains in the north.


1657 - Partie De L'Inde au dela du Gange . . . (with ) Persqu-Isle de L'Inde a de la du Gange . . . (Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sumatra, Singapore, etc.)

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Detailed pair of maps, first published by Nicolas Sanson, circa 1657, in Paris. The map at the left shows the region bounded by the Gulf of Bengal in the West, to Southern China and the Gulf of Siam. The map at the right extends from Pegu (Bago,...


1657 - De Molukkische Eilanden; Celebes, Gilolo, enz

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Fine example of the Spice Islandsa and Vicinity, first published by Nicholas Sanson in 1657. Sanson was the Royal Geographer to the King of France and perhaps the most important commercial mapmaker of his generation.


1657 - Les Isles Philippines (and) Islas de Los Ladrones ou Isle Des Larrons

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Highly detailed map of the Philippines on the left side, with a map of the Ladrones on the right side of the map, from Sanson's L'Asie en plusieurs cartes nouvelles, et exactes & en divers traittés de Géographie, et d'Histoire, first published in...


1654 - Carte Des Trois Arabies Tiree en Partie de l'Arabe de Nubie, en partie de divers autres Autheurs . . . 1654

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Rare Map of the Arabian Peninsula by Sanson An excellent example of this scarce map of the Arabian Peninsula, referencing the "Trois Arabies" (Three Arabias). This exemplary work by the father of French cartography, Nicolas Sanson, is one of the few...


1662 - Geographiae sacrae ex veteri et novo Testamento desumptae tabula secunda, in qua Terra promissa sive Judaea in suas tribus partesque distincta... MDCLXII

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Nicolas Sanson's decorative and highly detailed 17th-century map of the Holy Land, colored to show the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The map was published by Nicolas Sanson, the Geographer to the King of France, and the most important French mapmaker of...


1683 - Geographiae Sacrae Tabula, in qua Terra Promissa in suas Tribus Partesq. distincta . . . .

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Fine old color example of Sanson's map of the Holy Land, from the 1683 edition of his atlas. Includes an elaborate allegorical vignette, with symbols of Judaica, etc.


1655 - Royme. et Desert de Barca et L'Egypte Divisee en ses douze Cassiss. . . 1655

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Nice example of Sanson's 1655 double-page engraved map of Egypt stretching west to the Gulf of Sirte. Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667) sometimes called Nicolas Sanson d'Abbeville or Sanson d'Abbeville, was the most important French cartographer of the 17th...


1657 - Royaume et Desert De Barca, et L'Aegypte divisee en se Princiaples Parties

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Fine example of Egypt and eastern Libya first published by Nicholas Sanson in 1657. Sanson was the Royal Geographer to the King of France and perhaps the most important commercial mapmaker of his generation.


1655 - Partie de la Barbarie, ou est le Royaume d'Alger. . . 1655

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A nice example of Sanson's 1655 double-page engraved map of the Algerian coast of North Africa. The map shows the Barbary Coast divided a large number of states extending inland from the Mediterranean to the southern Atlas Mountains. This gives way to...


1657 - Royaume de Maroc divise en sept Provinces &c. Tire de Sanut de Marmol &c.

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Fine old color example of this finely engraved map of Morocco, first published by Nicholas Sanson in 1654. Sanson was the Royal Geographer to the King of France and perhaps the most important commercial mapmaker of his generation. The map is based in...


1655 - Haute Ethiopie ou sont L'Empire Des Abissins, La Nubie, et le Zanguebar . . . 1655

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Nice example of the first edition of Sanson's map of the Red Sea and Abyssinia, south to Madagascar, Zanzibar and the Congo Region. Fabulous detail in the interior of the map, including towns, mountains, lakes, rivers and a host of other information....


1657 - Isle de Madagascar ou de St. Laurens. Tiree de Sanutu &c.

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Exceptional old color example of this finely engraved map of Madagascar, first published by Sanson in 1657. Sanson notes the source of his map as Livio Sanuto and others. Livio Sanuto was a mid-16th Century Italian cosmographer and mathematician who...