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[Mississippi Valley] De Fer, La Riviere de Missisipi [sic]. Paris, 1715. 17¾ x 25. BW. Professionally conserved with tears repaired; strengthening of weak areas, and facsimile replacement of a small part of the neatline. $45,000.00
Very rare. Only one example appears in the Antique Map Price Record (1983-present), and just a handful of institutions hold a copy. This is De Fer's printed version of an unpublished 1701 manuscript by De L'Isle, which was an early map to show the Mississippi delta. It also indicates some of the extent of the Missouri River. De Fer has marked several trails including that of the Spanish from Mexico to Matagordo Bay, La Salle's route from the Bay toward the junction of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, and a trail from there east to the Carolina Coast.
In 1718 De Fer's second state of this map was issued with changes such as adding decorative figures and expanding some captions. A second sheet of the upper midwest was added with a large inset of the Gulf Coast from Soupart's 1716 manuscript map. That same year De L'Isle's Carte de la Louisiane was published with information from new sources including Soupart and Father Francois le Maire. This important De L'Isle map has overshadowed De Fer.
Due to its extreme rarity the 1715 first state of De Fer's map is known only to a small number of students of cartography. However, as it precedes De L'Isle's Louisiane, it is an important link in the evolution of geographical knowledge of the Mississippi River Valley and of the southern United States. Cumming, Southeast #169. (1718 second state); Holland, Mississippi River, pp. 96-100; Akerman, "Nicholas de Fer, Le cours du Missisipi..." in Mapline 119-120, Fall 2012, pp. 2-3.
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