America Septentrionalis

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This is a map by Tobias Lotter. Lotter created this map in about 1760 and it depicts virtually all of North America and the Caribbean. However, one of its most distinguishing features is that there is all blank space above what is called “Nova Mexico” and west of what is called “Canada” or “Nova Francia.” So, in this particular case, Lotter decided not to speculate and consciously simply left the upper left-hand portion of the map un-filled in altogether. Like so many of the maps of the period, it has a glorious cartouche in the upper left-hand corner, and Lotter pays due respect, something that mapmakers never- or frequently failed to do, to a mapmaker by the name of De L’Isle, whose geographic work, cartographic work, preceded that of Lotter, and Lotter clearly made considerable use of it.

[1] “Cartouche, in architecture, ornamentation in scroll form, applied especially to elaborate frames around tablets or coats of arms. By extension, the word is applied to any oval shape or even to a decorative shield, whether scroll-like in appearance or not.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.



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