Paris: Denys Thierry, 1683. unbound. Miniature view. Copper plate engraving with hand coloring. Image measures 6.5 x 4". Sheet measures 8.25 x 5.5"
This miniature bird's-eye view shows the Brazilian city of Salvador, one of the oldest cities in the Americas and the colonial capital of Brazil. The importance of this city to colonial trade is indicated by the large ships that fill the foreground of the image on their way into the city's harbor. The map appeared in the French edition of Manesson-Mallet's "Description de L'Univers" and bears the text "De L'Amerique Figure CLV." in the top margin. It is in good condition with minor discoloration at the edges. Allain Manesson-Mallet (1630-1706) advanced from his position of musket bearer under Louis XIV to eventually occupy the position of "maitre de mathematiques" to the French King. He was the author and engraver of "Description de L'Univers," a five-volume survey of the world that included maps of the ancient and modern world, star maps, illustrations of flora and fauna, and information on the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in the text. At the time, the text was the largest and most comprehensive work of its kind ever published. Intended to entertain its readers, Mallet's "Description" was a time capsule of the 17th-century world that captured and displayed it in all its splendor.