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de Fer, Nicolas The Island of Martinique. "Isle de la Martinique." Paris de Fer, Nicolas 1704
Copper engraved map of Martinique from Nicolas de Fer's "Alas Curieux", Original colour; verso blank.
Detailed map engraved by P Starckman, with long key identifying 63 places of interest Dark impression; upper margin trimmed to plate mark; crease to lower right corner;ink number to upper right corner.

Nicolas de Fer (1646-1720)
was the son of Antoine de Fer, also a map engraver and colourist in his own right who had worked with Nicolas Berey and acted as an editor for Pierre Duval's "Cartes De Geographie ..." of 1657.

Nicolas began his career with an apprenticeship to the engraver Louis Spirinx in Paris. It soon became clear that his interest lay in the production of current maps, recent discoveries and he was particularly interested in the topical production of military maps, with town plans and their fortifications an especial interest. De Fer's first map was published in 1669 and was a rather unusual map of the Languedoc Canal with a phonetic title.

Antoine died in 1673However, it wasn't until 1687 that Nicolas took over the running of the family business. Over the next few years De Fer was able to make the publishing business flourish and in 1690 he was nominated as geographer to the Dauphin – their relationship had reciprocal benefits with De Fer producing, in effect, royal propaganda concerning the Dauphin's lands with each publication enhancing his own name and reputation, as well as that of the Dauphin. When the Duke of Anjou ascended the throne in 1702, De Fer had the dual title of "geographe du roi d'Espagne et du Dauphin".

De Fer published a number of atlases including the "Cotes de France" of 1690 (containing Tassin's maps) and the "Forces de l'Europe ou Introduction a la fortification", also of 1690, that reinforced his abilities and success with the buying public. Subsequent publications included the "Petit et Nouveau Atlas", which appeared in 1697, followed by the "Atlas Curieux". The "Atlas Curieux" was well-known and popular, being expanded in successive editions between 1700 and 1705, and was re-edited in 1714 and 1716 under the title "Suite de l'Atlas Curieux". De Fer also produced a number of folio maps that appeared in the "Atlas ou Recueil de cartes", which was published in 1709.
261 by 364mm (10¼ by 14¼ inches).   ref: 2037  €280

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