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Canada and the Great Lakes, with the mythical Rivière Longue.

Covens, Jean & Mortier, Corneille. Canada Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France..

Amsterdam. Covens et Mortier c1741
Copper engraved map of Canada from Covens & Mortier's " Nieuwe Atlas, Inhoudennde vier Gedeeltens der Waereld.. " Original full wash colour; verso blank.
Black and white strap work title cartouche [as issued].
The influential map after Guillaume De l'Isle shows an accurate depiction, for the time, of the Great Lakes, Eastern Canada and New England; numerous trading posts and missions of New France and the major towns of the adjacent British colonies are labeled.
The map features a number of notes specifically referring to the names of explorers and the dates in which they discovered certain places such as Baffin's Bay, Davis Strait, &c
The area around Hudson Bay is divided into that inhabited by Christinaux or Kilistinonsand Labrador as Eskimaux. Baffins Island is named James Island or Isle de Jacques, whilst Greenland appears possibly to be joined to the continent at the Baye de Tho. Smith.
The depiction of the upper Mississippi and Ohio basins is also quite detailed, noting the position of the French fort of St. Louis or Crevecouer near the present-day site of Peoria, Illinois.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the map is the description and portrayal of the Rivière Longue,one of the most sensational and enduring cartographic misconceptions ever devised. This imaginary river was reported to flow from the Pays des Gnacsitares in the far west, promising the best route through the interior of the continent. A short distance over some mountains lies a long salt water lake, that is supposedly connected to the Pacific Ocean. It is a product of the imagination of the Baron Lahontan, an entertaining and roguish French adventurer, whose best-selling travel narrative Nouveaux voyages dans l'Amérique septentrionale(1703) convinced many of the world's greatest intellects of the existence of this mythical waterway. Dark impression; bright full wash colour; printed on heavy paper; light crease near centre fold;old red crayon numbers to verso.

Covens & Mortier
as a firm existed between 1721-1778, taking over the business of Pierrre Mortier.
Johannes / Jean Covens and Cornelius Mortier were brothers- in- law following the former's marriage to Mortier's sister Agatha in 1721, when they also formally went in to partnership.

Under the Covens and Mortier imprint, Cornelius and Jean republished the works of the great 17th and early 18th century Dutch and French cartographers De L'Isle, Allard, Jansson, & De Wit. The firm would become one of the most prolific Dutch publishing concerns of the 18th century.
The company would pass down through the Covens family as Mortier had no children, changing the name to Covens & Zoon until Pieter Mortier IV a great grandson of the original founder joined the firm and saw the name restored to Mortier Covens & Zoon. ( See Koeman I p45).




Guillaume de l'Isle (1675-1726)
was the son of a cartographer and pupil of Jean Dominique Cassini, who, among other important contributions, aligned the study of astronomy to the study of geography. Under Cassini's direction, observations were made from locations all over the world that enabled longitudinal calculations to be made with much greater accuracy. De l'Isle carried on this exacting work with remarkable dedication and integrity, constantly revising and improving his maps. While precision was his primary goal, his maps are invariably elegant and attractive.
The French cartographer Guillaume de l'Isle (1675−1726) was admitted into the French Académie Royale des Sciences when he was 27 years old and subsequently became the first person to receive the title Premier Géographe du Roi (principal geographer to the king). At the time de l'Isle was engaged in cartographic research, the prestige of a cartographer and the authority of his maps were gauged by the veracity of the cartographer's sources, i.e., the explorers and travelers who reported details of their travels to geographers and cartographers in Europe.
Many of de l'Isle's maps were reissued by the publishing house of Cornelis Mortier and Johannes Coven in Amsterdam in their Atlas Nouveau, which was published in multiple editions, the earliest of which dates to 1730.
Koeman I: C&M 8:105; Schwartz and Ehrenburg, p.141. 510 by 615mm (20 by 24¼ inches).   ref: 3054  €1500

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