JAILLOT, Alexis Hubert

Mappe-Monde Geo-Hydrographique ou Description Générale du Globe Terrestre et Aquatique en Deux Plans-Hémisphères

H. Jaillot
Color : Original colors
Technique : Copper engraving

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Beautiful example of Jaillot's world map highly regarded for its accuracy and detail and was widely used by navigators and explorers.

This double hemisphere shows both the terrestrial and aquatic features of the globe on an enlarged scale. The first hemisphere shows New Guinea, New Zealand in the west and stretches east till the Atlantic Ocean thus depicting the Americas. The second hemisphere depicts Europe, Africa and Asia. The map was used as a navigational tool for travelers and explorers providing information on latitude and longitude, as well as the locations of various cities, rivers, and mountain ranges. Recognized for its elegant decorative elements, this map is embellished with two cartouches illustrated by mythological figures. At the top cherubs hold a flowing banner are seated astride dolphins and support the arms of France. At the bottom cartouche is held by two twin-tailed mermen.

Towards the end of the 17th century after Nicolas Sanson's death, Alexis Hubert Jaillot collaborated with his heirs Guillaume and Adrien and worked on updated versions of Sanson's maps. Although not a cartographer himself Jaillot's first atlas, "Atlas François",  published in 1693 earned a huge success. It was based on Sanson's earlier work and included updated information that Jaillot had gathered through his own research and surveys. The present example is based on Sanson's world map. It was published in 1719, but had originally appeared in 1674 separately before being added to Jaillot's atlas. It exists in at least 7 states as described by Shirley, who points out that other versions with variants might emerge.

Shirley [462]

JAILLOT, Alexis Hubert

Alexis Hubert Jaillot was one of the most influential French cartographers of the 17th century. He was born around 1632 in Avignon-lès-Saint-Claude and showed a good talent for art and drawing from his childhood. He moved with his brother to Paris in 1657 in the hope of taking advantage of Louis XIV's appeal to artists and scientists in France. They quickly gained a reputation and the title of "Sculpteur du Roy". In 1665, Jaillot married Jeanne Berey, daughter of Nicolas I, the king's engraver and illuminator for maps. When Nicolas II died, he took over the Berey printing house.

Jaillot's good fortune was to enter the cartography market at a particularly favourable time. At the beginning of 1668, under Louis XIV, a particularly fruitful period began for France. Due to the constant territorial expansion, there was a great demand for maps depicting the French conquests and the new frontiers. In 1671, he had them engraved with a large number of drawings and maps donated by Sanson, filling the gap left by the destruction of Blaeu's printing house in 1672.

His 1681 atlas, the Atlas Nouveau, was so commercially successful that it was copied illegally by other publishers. His fame grew to the point that on 20 July 1686 he was appointed "Géographe du Roy" and received a substantial annual pension; this title enabled him to defend himself against numerous forgers. One of his finest works is Le Neptune François, ou Atlas Nouveau des Cartes Marine. From the beginning of the 18th century onwards, his map production diminished: there was a demand for more and more up-to-date maps, which he was unable to provide. His son, Bernard-Jean-Hyacinthe Jaillot, known as Bernard Jaillot (1673-1739), and his grandson Bernard-Antoine (?-1749), followed in his footsteps and were both ordinary geographers to the king.