French Manuscript Map of India



French Manuscript Map of Northeast India
Watercolor and ink on paper. Ca.1765-1770. 42 x 66 inches
Marks the End of French Colonial Aspirations in India, The Most Accurate Manuscript Map of India from the 18th Century & a National Treasure for India
This magnificent, large-scale manuscript map of present-day northeast India is a unique monument in the cartography of that region. The map is exquisitely detailed in ink and watercolor, with indications of river courses, the locations of settlements, towns and forts, roads, and mountain ranges. A table at the center of the map provides a key to some of the more important locations that are represented. The map extends from Delhi at the northwest down to Patna and beyond in modern Bihar at the southeast (west of the modern states of West Bengal and Bangladesh). The backbone of the map is the Ganges River, which snakes from Delhi down past Agra and through the modern state of Uttar Pradesh, and then turns east at Allahabad, where it is joined by the Jumna River and widens as it continues its southeastward course toward the Bay of Bengal. The Himalayas appear at the top right or northeast quadrant of the map; on the other side of them, “Tibet” is inscribed in the corner (where present-day Nepal begins). 
Not one of the standard reference books illustrates a map of comparable quality, from public or private collections anywhere in the world, for this time period. This is a map of national importance and oustanding aesthetic quality, worthy of any major art museum.