SOLD: 1780 Clouet - Carte D'Amérique divisée en ses principaux Pays...[large Sea of the West]

SOLD: 1780 Clouet - Carte D'Amérique divisée en ses principaux Pays...[large Sea of the West]

Gorgeous and rare 1780 map with dramatic Sea of the West and theories on the Northwest Passage


Carte D'Amérique divisée en ses principaux Pays, Dressée sur les Mémoires les plus recents, et sur differents Voyages et assujettie aux Observations Astronomiques de Mrs. de l'Académie Royale des Sciences.

Map maker:

Jean Baptiste Louis Clouet

Place and Year:

Rouen, 1780


62 x 46.5 cm (24.5 x 18 in)


Copperplate engraving


Hand colored

Condition Rating:


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Lovely and bright example of Clouet's map of America, simultaneously a presentation of important 18th century ideas of the cartography of North America as well as a chronicle of the routes of earlier explorers.

The most notable feature of the map is surely a huge Sea of the West (Mer ou Baye de l'Ouest) in the Pacific Northwest, just opposite the map's wonderful title cartouche. The existence of an inland sea in this area was one of the great debates in cartography in the second half of the 18th century.

Following the 18th century emphasis on scientific data in French cartography, the map presents a wealth of information on some of the most important debates in mapping at the time. The large inset map illustrates the theories of Joseph Delisle and Philippe Buache concerning the potential Northwest Passage and the Sea of the West. Also depicted is the mythical Chinese colony of Fousang. In the Pacific, the tracks of early explorers are shown, including Quiros, Mendana, Le Maire, Magellan, and Antoine.

Jean Baptiste Louis Clouet was Royal Geographer of the Academie des Sciences de Rouen.


Sheet a little uneven. Image excellent - this map deserves to be framed and put up on a wall for all to see.





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