Among the earliest attempts to illustrate historical change through maps
By COQUART, Antoine, and, FER, Nicolas de , 1705

[Series of eight plans of Paris].

  • Author: COQUART, Antoine, and, FER, Nicolas de
  • Publication place: Paris
  • Publication date: 1705.
  • Physical description: Folio (465 by 305mm), eight engraved maps, old folds reinforced, slight loss to right of first map, dampstaining to upper left potion of last seven maps, eighteenth century half calf over green marbled paper boards, rubbed and scuffed.
  • Inventory reference: 2909


The chronological series of eight maps of Paris published in ‘Traité de la police’ is among the earliest attempts to illustrate historical change with maps and shows the growth of Paris from Roman times up to 1705, the year of publication.

The four-volume ‘Traité de la police’ by Nicolas de La Mare (1639–1723), a Paris magistrate who specialized in urban problems and services, was a pioneering work in the area of urban administration. The maps were included in the first volume to accompany a discussion of the historical basis of the plans.

Each map is drawn upon the same scale (approximately 1 to 9,500). Goffart states that, although the authorship of the maps is not firmly established, Antoine Coquart (1668–1707) likely designed and engraved the first seven maps, using information and materials provided by La Mare, while Nicolas de Fer was the engraver of the eighth, which was based on a contemporary city map.

The maps proved popular and were frequently reproduced and sold. Goffart believes that in about 1715, de Fer copied the entire set of eight and published them under his own name, and is therefore sometimes credited as the sole author.

List of maps

1. Lutèce, ou premier plan de la ville de Paris. Tiré De Cesar, de Strabon, de l’Empereur Iulien, et d’Ammian Marcellin par MLCDLM [Monsieur Le Commissaire De La Mare] [Lutetia, or first map of the city of Paris. Drawn [based on information] from Cesar, Strabo, the Emperor Julian, and Ammianus Marcellinus by the Commissioner De La Mare]

2. Lutèce conquise par les François sur les Romains, ou second plan de la ville de Paris [Lutetia conquered by the Franks from the Romans, or second map of the city of Paris].

3. Troisième plan de la ville de Paris, son étendue et les bourgs dont elle toit environnée sous le Regne de Loüis le jeune VIIe du nom [Third plan of the city of Paris, its extent and the boroughs neighboring it in the reign of Louis the Young VIIth of that name].

4. Quatrieme plan de la ville de Paris, son accroissement, et l’état ou elle êtoit sous le Regne de Philippe Auguste, qui mourut l’an 1223. [Fourth map of the city of Paris. Its growth and its condition in the reign of Philip Augustus, who died in the year 1223].

5. Cinquieme plan de la ville de Paris. Son accroissement, et sa Quatrieme Clôture commandée sous Charles V l’an 1367 et finie sous Charles VI l’an 1383. [Fifth map of the city of Paris. Its growth and its fourth enclosure, begun under Charles V in the year 1367 and completed under Charles VI in the year 1383].

6. Sixieme plan de la ville de Paris, et ses accroissements, depuis le commencement du Régne de Charles VII l’an 1422 jusqu’a la fin du Régne d’Henry III l’an 1589. [Sixth map of the city of Paris, and its additions, from the beginning of the reign of Charles VII in the year 1422 to the end of the reign of Henry III in the year 1589].

7. Septième plan de la ville de Paris, son accroissement et ses embelisssemens sous Henry IIII et Louis XIII depuis 1589 jusqu’en 1643. [Seventh plan of the city of Paris, its growth and its embellishments under Henry IIII and Louis III from 1589 to 1643].

8. Huitieme plan de Paris divisé en ses vingts quartiers. Par N. de Fer, Geographe de sa Majesté Catolique, et de Monseigneur le Dauphin. [Eighth plan of Paris divided into its 20 quarters. By N de Fer, Geographer to his Catholic Majesty [Louis XIV], and Monseigneur le Dauphin].


  1. Goffart, Walter, Historical Atlases: The First Three Hundred Years, 1570–1870., No.141.

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