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Printed and manuscript maps, prints and views of 22 seventeenth-century wars

François Collignon (c.1610-87)

Siege of Besançon, 1674


Etching with engraving; printed on paper; reverse window-mounted (Mount Type B) on paper; no gilt edges | Scale: not stated. Not to scale. | RCIN 724009

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A map of the siege from 19 April to 22 May 1674 of the Spanish-held town of Besançon by the French, commanded by Louis XIV (1638-1715) and Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707). Franco-Dutch War (1672-8). Oriented with east-south-east to top (cardinal points). 

This map view is taken looking south-east over Besançon, with the French batteries placed on Monte Brigillæ (hauteur de Brégille) to the left (east-south-east), and Collis Dianæ (hauteur de Chaudanne) to the right (south) which are firing on the citadel which is constructed on Monte Celio (Mont Saint-Etienne). The river Doux (Doubs) meanders around the town and a large vineyard lies between a battery and a cemetery to the right (west). The siege proper began on 25 April; the fire from the batteries on the adjacent hills proved too powerful for the Besançon garrison to resist and the town capitulated on the 22 May.

  • François Collignon (c.1610-87) (publisher) [bottom left, inside neatline:] Si Stampa da Collignon nel Parione con licenza; [bottom right, inside neatline:] Roma il primo di Giugno 1674.

  • Watermark: Map: crossed swords in oval surmounted by cardinal’s hat, above the letters V C. Mount: None.

    Condition: creased; pressure marks can be seen on both sides from the mounts of items which were kept above and below this map in a former collection

  • Scale: not stated. Not to scale.

    30.3 x 21.7 cm (image and neatline)

    cropped (platemark)

    30.6 x 22.1 cm (sheet)

    40.8 x 32.0 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:


    Additional text:

    [bottom left, a key, A-I, K-O, to the town, citadel and gates of Besançon, and to the hill of Diana, river and mills, the palace, and the mortar and cannon batteries.]


    George III heading: Besançon 15 May 1674.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top left, on mount, black pencil:] Besancon.; [top centre, on mount, black pencil, erased:] May 15; [bottom left, on mount, black pencil, erased: the old heading]. (Verso) none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Besançon. Vera Disegno della Citta di Besanson, assediata dal Ré Ludovico XIV, e presa li 15 Maggio 1674; da F. Collignon, 1674.

  • From the collection of Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-89); sold by his grandson to Clement XI, 1703; acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Albani by 1714, from whom purchased by George III in 1762

  • Subject(s)

    Besançon, Franche-Comté, France (47°14ʹ55ʺN 06°01ʹ05ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Mark McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 3262

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