Tassin, Christophe Nicholas

Antique Chart of the Basque Guyenne and Biscay Coasts


Coste de Biscaye; Coste de Guyenne


Antique engraved and very scarce 380 year-old chart of the Basque Region (coastal areas of Spain and France directly north of the Pyrenees mountains) by French cartographer Christophe Nicholas Tassin. The chart was published in 1634 as part of Tassin's "Cartes Generale et Particulieres de toutes le costes de France Tant de la Mer Oceane que Mediterranee"... Coverage includes the "Coste de Guyenne" (archaic name for the Aquitane region of France) with Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz ,and Bayonne, France. In Spain, San Sebastien, Pasaia (le Pasage), Hondarribia (Funtarabie) on the Biscayan Coast.

This rare antique chart is not from the common series of town views in pocket atlas format published by Tassin but from the earliest atlas of charts specifically of coastal areas published by Tassin in France ca. 1634. Contains a beautifully desgned and intricately engraved compass rose with sixteen points. Surrounded by small sailing vessels and a fantastical sea monster.

See this page at the Bibliotheque national de France for all the maps in Tassin's scare coastal atlas.

Nicholas Tassin's background included a long period of employment as a military engineer and his printed works often show militarily important sites, either sketched on site, composed from firsthand drawings by military engineers, or sometimes borrowed from other mapmakers. Additionally, Tassin also published several small sized atlases with inspired profiles of French towns and maps of the provinces.

Published in Paris: Chez Melchior Tavernier, en l’isle du Palais, vis à vis la quay de la Megisserie.

CREATOR: Tassin, Christophe Nicholas



BODY OF WATER: Bay of Biscay

CONDITION: Good.  On chain-laid paper with wide chain marks and more than .5 inch margin all around. No significant condition issues. A bit browned but not, significant considering the great antiquity of the plate.

COLORING: Original light hand coloring.


SIZE: 13 " x 9 "




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