France – Gallia

by Johannes Janssonius

A rare and exceptional map.


Date of first edition: 1630

Date of this map: 1630

Dimensions (not including margins): 46 x 55,5 cm

Dimensions (including margins): 48 x 56,8 cm

Condition: very good. Sharp copper engraving printed on strong paper. Centre fold is as published. Old colouring.  Sufficient margins.

Condition rating: A+

Verso: blank

Map reference: Van der Krogt 1, 400:1C

From: Atlantis Maioris Appendix, sive pars Altera, Continens Geographicas Tabulas diversarum orbis Regionum (…). Van der Krogt 1,1:202



Item number:
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Price (without VAT, possibly to be added): 2 500,00 (FYI +/- $3 050,00 / £2 150,00)
Unless otherwise specifically stated on this map page, we charge the following expedition costs in euro: 
– Benelux: 20 euro
– Rest of Europe: 30 euro
– Rest of the World: 50 euro

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The concept of cartes-à-figures

The concept of cartes-à-figures was a business novelty early 1600. Fierce competition between the family publishing houses of Blaeu and Hondius led to the innovation of this new product to appease the hungry (i.e. buying) bourgeoisie. The cartes-à-figures show in the vertical bands of the map people in local dress and in its horizontal bands the most important cities of the region. It comes as no surprise that Johannes Janssonius, the son-in-law of Jodocus Hondius continued this tradition. This map of “Nova Gallia Descriptio” was produced by Petrus Kaerius (brother-in-law of Jodocus Hondius) in 1616; this copy was published as a fourth state by Janssonius in his Appendix. Remarkable are the frontiers of France: borders are never fixed for eternity… We know or should know this! Quite interesting is the choice by Kaerius/Janssonius of the key cities of France: Cales, Poictiers, Lion, Paris (central), Vienne, Orleans and Monpellier (at the top) and Tovrs, Bovrges, Angers, Roan (central), Beavmont, Rochelle and Bloys (at the bottom). Kaerius shows 14 cities, Blaeu only 10, but including Marseille and Bordeaux.

The best publication on cartes-à-figures is Schilder, G., Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica, Canaletto/Repro-Holland, Alphen aan den Rijn (now Hes & de Graaff), in total 9 volumes. This specific publication: volume 6: Dutch folio-sized maps with decorative borders in the period 1600 to 1660,452 p., ISBN 90-6469-749-3.

Janssonius and his France

It is always interesting to see which cities the cartographer selected to appear as “figures”. In this case Janssonus chose for: Cales, Poictiers, Lion, Paris (central position), Vienne, Orleans, Orleans, Montpelier, Tours, Bourges, Angiers, Roan (central position), Blaumont, Rochele, Bloys.

And doing so he dismissed to picture: Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes and Rennes.

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