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La Harpe Manuscript Map of Louisiana

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La Harpe Manuscript Map of Louisiana

Lot 0170 Details

Description
LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Bénard de (1683-1765).
'CARTE NOUVELLE DE LA PARTIE DE L'OUEST DE LA LOUISIANNE'.
Manuscript map with watercolor wash in shades of green and brown with black and red ink; a few light creases, a few scattered stains.
Paris, c. 1722-1725.
22 5/8" x 36 3/4" sheet on two joined sheets, 31 3/4" x 45 3/4" framed.

Provenance: Sotheby's, June 28, 2018 - Lot 145 - $591,000.The most important 18th century map of the American Southwest. From the distinguished collection of America's greatest map collector, Dr. Seymour Schwartz. Two examples of this profoundly important manuscript map exist - one at the Library of Congress and this one in far better condition.John Rennie Short description: “In the early eighteenth century the Southwest of what is now the USA was an area of contest between the French and the Spanish. Spanish expeditions crossed the Rio Grande deep into Texas and Louisiana. French parties were moving into the area from their strongholds along the Mississippi’s River. La Harpe set out from New Orleans in 1718 charged to establish a French presence in the areas between the Red and Arkansas River and to make contact with Native Americans. He built a trading post near present day Texarkana. Later, in 1721, he traveled to a establish French presence on the western Gulf coast and then up the Mississippi And Arkansas River to Little Rock. The map includes an area much larger than La Harpe explored and so an example of the many maps drawn by Europeans but very dependent on Native American sources. John Smith’s 1624 map of Virginia is another. The rivers drawn on the map rely on the detailed hydrographic knowledge of native informants. The map is based on the exploration La Harpe but draws deep from the knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the result of cartographic encounter.”Ahighly important and remarkably detailed manuscript map of Texas, Louisiana, and large portions of the Old Southwest, prepared by the French Hydrographic Office in Paris from the now-lost original notes and sketches of Bénard de la Harpe.La Harpe led a French expedition to the Southwest in 1718. During nearly four years of travel—the routes of which are outlined on the present map—La Harpe explored the areas that would become Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. While trying to establish a French presence in the region, La Harpe met with many Native American peoples, including Wichita, Tawakoni, Apache, and Quapaw, and established several trading posts. His mapping of Galveston Island and Galveston Bay was one the most significant of his many achievements.The map extends westward as far a California and designates Spanish settlements in Sonora and Baja California, as well as Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Locations are also provided for villages of Christian and friendly Indians, silver mines, capitals or Presidios, and ancient ruins.Despite La Harpe's efforts, France was unable to overcome the already established Spanish influence in the Southwest. One of his final official actions in the New World was overseeing the transfer of Pensacola, Florida, to the Spanish.A beautiful and important map, much more accurate than printed French maps of the period.
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La Harpe Manuscript Map of Louisiana

Estimate $800,000 - $1,200,000
Oct 10, 2020
Starting Price $700,000
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0170: La Harpe Manuscript Map of Louisiana

Sold for $700,000
10 Bids
Est. $800,000 - $1,200,000Starting Price $700,000
Arader Galleries October 10th Auction
Sat, Oct 10, 2020 1:00 PM EDT
Buyer's Premium 23%

Lot 0170 Details

Description
...
LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Bénard de (1683-1765).
'CARTE NOUVELLE DE LA PARTIE DE L'OUEST DE LA LOUISIANNE'.
Manuscript map with watercolor wash in shades of green and brown with black and red ink; a few light creases, a few scattered stains.
Paris, c. 1722-1725.
22 5/8" x 36 3/4" sheet on two joined sheets, 31 3/4" x 45 3/4" framed.

Provenance: Sotheby's, June 28, 2018 - Lot 145 - $591,000.The most important 18th century map of the American Southwest. From the distinguished collection of America's greatest map collector, Dr. Seymour Schwartz. Two examples of this profoundly important manuscript map exist - one at the Library of Congress and this one in far better condition.John Rennie Short description: “In the early eighteenth century the Southwest of what is now the USA was an area of contest between the French and the Spanish. Spanish expeditions crossed the Rio Grande deep into Texas and Louisiana. French parties were moving into the area from their strongholds along the Mississippi’s River. La Harpe set out from New Orleans in 1718 charged to establish a French presence in the areas between the Red and Arkansas River and to make contact with Native Americans. He built a trading post near present day Texarkana. Later, in 1721, he traveled to a establish French presence on the western Gulf coast and then up the Mississippi And Arkansas River to Little Rock. The map includes an area much larger than La Harpe explored and so an example of the many maps drawn by Europeans but very dependent on Native American sources. John Smith’s 1624 map of Virginia is another. The rivers drawn on the map rely on the detailed hydrographic knowledge of native informants. The map is based on the exploration La Harpe but draws deep from the knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the result of cartographic encounter.”Ahighly important and remarkably detailed manuscript map of Texas, Louisiana, and large portions of the Old Southwest, prepared by the French Hydrographic Office in Paris from the now-lost original notes and sketches of Bénard de la Harpe.La Harpe led a French expedition to the Southwest in 1718. During nearly four years of travel—the routes of which are outlined on the present map—La Harpe explored the areas that would become Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. While trying to establish a French presence in the region, La Harpe met with many Native American peoples, including Wichita, Tawakoni, Apache, and Quapaw, and established several trading posts. His mapping of Galveston Island and Galveston Bay was one the most significant of his many achievements.The map extends westward as far a California and designates Spanish settlements in Sonora and Baja California, as well as Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Locations are also provided for villages of Christian and friendly Indians, silver mines, capitals or Presidios, and ancient ruins.Despite La Harpe's efforts, France was unable to overcome the already established Spanish influence in the Southwest. One of his final official actions in the New World was overseeing the transfer of Pensacola, Florida, to the Spanish.A beautiful and important map, much more accurate than printed French maps of the period.

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