Alain Manesson Mallet; 1630-1706.
Precious little is known about this author, safe for having
been a military engineer serving King Louis XIV.
His claim to fame comes from his very successful "Description
de l'Univers", a pocket size thick geography book in five
volumes, replete with encyclopedic details, historical data,
scores of illustrations (landscapes, decisive battle scenes,
towns, forts, harbors,...), and quite a few simple maps.
The book was published between 1683 and 1688. However, reprints
were made later with German text (1686 and 1719).
Of note also his "Les Travaux de Mars" in 1672 on the art
of fortification, and "La Géométrie Pratique" in 1702, a massive
study in geometry, trigonometry, planimetry and land survey.
St. Augus. de Floride.
This small bird eye's view (4 ¼" X 5 13/16") was designed
for the 1683 "Description de l'Univers".
It shows the protected harbor and the town of Saint Augustine.
Notice that the massive fort San Marco is still mostly built
of wood. It will be replaced in 1695 by the coquina stone
construction that still exists today.
The town appears very populated and prosperous.
Notice that the sea is named "Mer de Nort" or North Sea, which
was the name given at that time to the Atlantic Ocean (by
opposition to the Pacific Ocean then known as the South Sea.
This makes sense if considering the Panama crossing: "El Camino
Real" links the Atlantic harbor of Porto Bello in the north,
to the port of Panama on the Pacific in the south.).
Inexplicably the view shows a large lagoon port in the back...
where none exists.
French text on verso.