Rediscovering the Jansson & Hondius Atlases of Henry Vignaud
The Composite Atlas of France is composed of approximately 35 maps that depict regions of France (Galliae). This title was created by the Clark Library to represent this unique compilation of maps. Such a composite atlas was not unusual in 17th century Amsterdam as patrons often commissioned atlases with the contents and sequence determined by the patron. As a composite atlas, it is composed of maps from various publishers, including Jodocus and Henricus Hondius, Jean LeClerc, Damien de Templeux, and Maurice Bouguereau, and therefore a definite publisher or publication date is not determinable. Composite atlases were not unusual at this time. It was common practice for maps to be bound into temporary bindings for storage and at a later date removed and bound again into a permanent volume.
One distinct feature of this composite atlas is the presence of red chalk drawings on the verso of the maps. [To see images of the red chalk drawings, please click on the maps titles under Composite Atlas of France located in the left hand navigation bar.] The maps in this volume were bound together and at a later date an individual used the blank versos for practicing their penmanship and drawing skills. The red chalk drawings feature figures with Roman noses which are characteristic of the 18th century. Given the orientation and the manner of drawings, it suggests that the maps were drawn upon while they were still bound. The maps featured here are examples of those found in this unique composite atlas.