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Maps, prints and letterpress text covering the major battles and sieges

Sébastien Pontault de Beaulieu (c. 1612-74)

Battle of Lens, 1648

LA BATAILLE DE LENS EN FLANDRE. / gaignée par l’Armée du tres Chres. Louys XIIII. Roy de France et / de Nauarre Commandée par Monseig.eur le Prince de Condé / sur l’armée Espagnolle commandée par l’Archiduc / Leopold le 20... c.1649

Etching and engraving; printed from four copperplates on four sheets of paper, joined; laid down on two pieces of coarse brown linen stitched together; edged with cerise silk ribbon; two pink linen ties to top edge; a brass ring for hanging is missing from the top left and top right right corners | 115.2 x 87.8 cm (image) | RCIN 723083

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Views of the Battle of Lens, and order of battle of the opposing armies, fought on 20 August 1648 between the French, commanded by Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Condé (8 September 1621-11 December 1686) and the Spanish, commanded by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria (5 January 1614-20 November 1662), resulting in a French victory. Oriented with south to top.

The upper view of the battle is framed by a border of beribboned leaves and olive branches, with a crowing cockerel, bottom left and an eagle, bottom right. The towns of Auions (Avion 50°24ʹ37ʺN 02°49ʹ50ʺE) and Lieuan (Liévin 50°25ʹ11ʺN 02°46ʹ50ʺE) appear on the horizon and the village of Vermelis (Vermelles 50°29ʹ22ʺN 02°44ʹ51ʺE) can be seen, bottom left. The lower representation of the orders of battle, set in the same geographical area, is framed by a lion, whose head appears between vignettes of Furnes (to the left) and Ypres (to the right). The battalions of the Spanish forces are shown in outline only and are not named while those of the French are drawn in full together with some names of the commanding officers.

An example of this print in the Bibliothèque nationale de France was published ‘A PARIS, / chez les filles DE VAUCONSAIN’ in 1649. It was accompanied by letterpress text which was pasted down the left and right sides and the whole was surrounded by a decorative engraved border which was pasted to the print and text.

The attribution of the engraver to Noël Cochin rather than Nicolas Cochin is made by BnF. The blank oval, top centre, is filled, in the BnF example, with a portrait of the Condé. Another example of this print in two parts, and including the portrait, is at RCIN 723027 vol.2. 

The method of mounting this map – on linen and with silk edging, with linen ties and brass rings for hanging – was a treatment given in George III’s time to several maps of important events in the collection which were stored, tied up as a roll, or displayed by being hung up, for example, on mahogany cross trees. The map rolls were kept in the cupboards and shelves of long tables, hence the pressmark ‘5 Tab.2’ (Table 5, drawer 2).

A view of the Battle of Lens is engraved above a separate representation of the orders of battle of the Spanish and French armies; tl and tr, to each side of an ornate blank oval, top centre of which is engraved ‘Ae[tatis] 28)’

  • Sébastien Pontault de Beaulieu (c. 1612-74) (cartographer)

    Stefano della Bella (1610-64) (draughtsman)

    Jean Frosne (c.1620-after 1676) (engraver) [bottom centre, in the space between sections of the lion’s tail:] I. Frosne sc.

    Nicolas Cochin (1610-1686) (engraver) [bottom centre of the top view:] Par le S.r de Beaulieu Ingenieur du Roy / N Cochin fe / Auec Privilege de sa Maté

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: four fold lines

  • 115.2 x 87.8 cm (image)

    118.3 x 90.1 cm (sheet)

    56.5 x 50.1 cm (image of top left sheet)

    55.8 x 38.8 cm (image of top right sheet)

    60.0 x 44.0 cm (image of bottom left sheet)

    60.0 x 43.9 cm (image of bottom right sheet)

    inside platemarks cropped (platemark)

  • Printed title:

    LA BATAILLE DE LENS EN FLANDRE. / gaignée par l’Armée du tres Chres. Louys XIIII. Roy de France et / de Nauarre Commandée par Monseig.eur le Prince de Condé / sur l’armée Espagnolle commandée par l’Archiduc / Leopold le 20.e iour d’Aoust 1648. [a view of the Battle of Lens is engraved above a separate representation of the orders of battle of the Spanish and French armies; tl and tr, to each side of an ornate blank oval, top centre of which is engraved ‘Ae[tatis] 28)’]

    Annotations:

    George III heading [black pencil:] Lens 1648 

    Other annotations: (Recto) top left, black pencil: Military. (Verso) [left, black pencil:] Lens 1648; [top left, black pencil:] Lens [?] 1643; [top centre, blue biro on a 1980s red-printed Royal Library label:] III 83; [bottom right, ink on paper label, pasted to verso before the edging was stitched on:] I/34 [red ink cross to right].

    K. Mil. Dummy entry:

    [Title, ink on paper:] Vue et Ordre de la Bataille de Lens en Flandre, gagnée par l’Armée de Louis XIV, commandée par / le Prince de Condé, sur l’Armée Espagnolle, commandée par l’Archiduc Leopold, le 20 Aoust 1648 / par le S.r de Beaulieu – gravé par Cochin. 4 feuilles. / A Roll … [black pencil:] 5 Table 2.d 
    George III heading: View and Order of the Battle of Lens 20 August 1648. Watermark: BUDGEN & WILMOTT / 1810. Size: 47.1 x 32.6 cm (sheet).

    George III catalogue entry:

    Lens Vue et Ordre de la Bataille de Lens en Flandre gagnée par l’Armée de Louis XIV commandée par le Prince de Condé dur l’Armée Espagnolle commandée par l’Archiduc Leopold, le 20 Aoust 1648: par le S.r de Beaulieu, gravé par Cochin. 4 feuilles.

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Lens, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France (50°25'58"N 02°49'40"E)

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