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Portrait, La Salle, French Explorer, Louisiana Territory Map, Antique Print, 1937

$1,200

Pierre Gandon (1899-1990)
Cavelier de La Salle 1640-1687
French: 1937
Black and white engraving and etching
Numbered in pencil 28/100 lower left
Signed in pencil lower right and dated 1937
18 x 14 inches, sheet size
13 x 10 1/2 inches, plate mark
$1,200

Portrait of the famous French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) holding a manuscript document describing in French how “Louis le Grand” established “la Louysiane” in the United States. It incorporates a pictorial map of America focusing on the Mississippi River, together with Florida (Floride), Alabama, Louisiana (Louisiane), Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Texas and Arizona. The map is illustrated with charming vignettes of sailing ships, indigenous fruits, birds and wildlife including alligator and bison, and a native American on a horse. The map is draped in a cloth in the upper left and the print bears a coat of arms in the upper right.

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Description

La Salle was born in France and first arrived in the New World in Montreal, Canada, where he eventually controlled most of the fur trade. His restless ambition led him to explore the territory to the west. He led expeditions down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, and he is best known for claiming the large region encompassing the Mississippi River and its tributaries for France, which he named Louisiana, after King Louis XIV. Although he died in a futile attempt to find and secure the mouth of the Mississippi, his claiming of the Louisiana territory paved the way for the eventual establishment of the French colonial empire.

Pierre Gandon was a French artist active in the mid 20th century. Educated in Parisian art schools, he won the Prix de Rome for engraving in 1922. He illustrated numerous books by authors such as Rudyard Kipling and was also a painter, but he is probably best known for his philatelic designs for France, Monaco, Andorra and French-speaking African countries. His long and illustrious career designing postage stamps spanned the years from 1941 to 1983, when he was 84 years old. Some of the most commonly used and recognizable French stamps in the post-war period were his designs.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soiling, soft creases. One tear well into margin, professionally restored, and a few short marginal tears and creases, can be matted out. A rich impression.

References:

“Pierre Gandon.” Timbres de France. 2005. http://www.timbres-de-france.com/collection/graveurs/gandon.php (31 August 2007).

Additional information

Century

20th Century