Nicolas Sanson African and American Atlases

Nicolas Sanson served as the royal geographer for both King Louis XIII and King Louis XIV after traveling to Paris with only a map of Gaul to demonstrate his skill as a cartographer. His 1658 publication Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde is considered to be the first French world atlas. The popularity of Sanson’s mid-17th century publications signaled a shift away from the dominance of the Dutch on the international cartographic world. One notable feature of Sanson’s maps of America is the depiction of California as an island, a common misperception at the time. On display are two volumes of Sanson’s work, documenting the continents of Africa and North America.

Bequest of Duncan Payne, class of 1963.

Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667).
L'Affrique, en plusieurs cartes nouvelles, et exactes, &c. en divers traitez de geographie, et d'histoire. Paris: Chez l'autheur ..., [1656].

Lehigh University Catalog Record:

L'Ameriqve en plvsievrs cartes novvelles, et exactes & en divers traitez de geographie, et d'histoire. Paris: Chez l'avthevr ruë S. Iacques, à l'Esperance, [1667?].

Lehigh University Catalog Record: