Paris: Denys Thierry, 1683.
Miniature map. Copper plate engraving with hand coloring. Image measures 5 5/8" x 4". Sheet measures 8 1/8" x 5 3/8".
This miniature map of the Indian subcontinent, Tibet, and Indochina extends from the area of the Indus River delta to the South China Sea. Islands in the Indian Ocean also appear on the map, showing Ceylon, Maldives, and the Sunda Islands. Despite its small size, the map features a remarkably detailed title cartouche, decorated with tropical grasses and a woven wreath. Rivers and their headwaters are prominently depicted, and topographical features are rendered pictorially. Above the map is the heading "De L'Asie. Figure XXXIX." The map appeared in the French edition of Manesson-Mallet's "Description de L'Univers." It is in good condition. French text on verso.
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.