One of the most decorative atlases published in 19th century, with stunningly detailed engraved illustrations, augmenting the maps with plenty of visual details including local landmarks, regional products of industry and agriculture and political leaders. The atlas contains 86 double page maps of French mainland regions, 6 maps of oversea colonies (inlcuding North Africa, Reunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Senegambie, east coast of Africa and Madagascar, French Guyana and Newfoundlan), a world map in mercator's projection and 6 maps of continents, decorated with the coats of arms of the kingdoms, city panoramas (vedutas) in cartouches and portraits of local people and animals. Some of the atlases were published without the maps of continents.
The maps are printed from using lithography, are border coloured by hand and represent cities, roads, railways, canals and political divisions. Several types of symbols are used for cities and villages according to their status. The departments are divided into arrondissements, cantons and communes. All the maps contain introduction text, describing the geography, population (including statistical charts), products of industry and commerce. Paragraphs named "Curiosités" contain information about interesting places and landmarks of the regions. Each page also contains a paragraph about local celebrities. Except for the maps of the colonies, no representation of the terrain is present on the regional maps. The colonial maps and the maps of the continents show the simplified terrain by hachures.
The atlas was an outstanding achievement of Victor Levasseur (1800-1870). Almost all the maps carry a line "La Geographie et la Statistique par V. Levasseur." Most of the illustrations were designed by A. M. Perrot and Raimond Bonheur. Various engravers participated in engraving the stone plates (Laguillermie, Rainaud, Burty, Smith, Barthelemier, Grezel). Although Levasseur's work of cartography and statistics are today more appreciated for the characteristic decorations surrounding the maps than for the detail of the maps themselves, overall this atlas has become one of the most famous "national" atlases ever published.
Cover scratched, spine lightly rubbed (mostly on top and bottom edge). Edges of the boards rubbed. Endpapers cracked in hinges (hinges are fine). One regional map is loose. Missing the world map in mercators projection and the folding map of France. Condition of maps is good with light signs of wear which can be expected with the age.
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