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1783 Bonne Map of the Mediterranean and the Maghreb or Barbary Coast


Carte des Cotes de Barbarie ou Les Royaumes de Marco, de Fez, d'Alger, de Tunis, et de Tripoli avec les Pays Circonvoisins.
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Title:    Carte des Cotes de Barbarie ou Les Royaumes de Marco, de Fez, d'Alger, de Tunis, et de Tripoli avec les Pays Circonvoisins.

Description:    A beautiful example of Rigobert Bonne's decorative 1783 map of the Maghreb or Barbary Coast. Covers northwestern Africa and the western Mediterranean. This region consists of the modern day nations of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. Offers excellent detail throughout showing mountains, rivers, national boundaries, cities, regions, and tribes.

As Bonne was preparing this map, the Barbary Coast was a hotbed of piracy - much like the Somali coast today. The Barbary Pirates would attack trading ships passing through the narrow Gibraltar straits and western Mediterranean. Ships would be destroyed or appropriated, cargo sized, and the crews and passengers enslaved. By the early 19th century, piracy in this region had become so intense that the United States launched its first major naval offensive against Tripoli. The resultant 1805 Battle of Derne later inspired a portion of the lyrics of the Marines' Hymn, 'to the shores of Tripoli'.

A large decorative title cartouche appears in the lower left quadrant. Drawn by R. Bonne in 1783 for issue as plate no. 30 in Jean Lattre's 1783 final issue of the Atlas Moderne.


Date:    1783 (undated)

Source:    Lattre, Jean, Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur Toutes les Parties du Globe Terrestre, c. 1783.    

References:    Rumsey 2612.064. Phillips (Atlases) 664. National Maritime Museum, 215.

Cartographer:    Rigobert Bonne (1727-1795 ) was one of the most important cartographers of the late 18th century. In 1773 he succeeded Jacques Bellin as Royal Cartographer to France in the office of the Hydrographer at the Depôt de la Marine. Working in his official capacity Bonne compiled some of the most detailed and accurate maps of the period. Bonne's work represents an important step in the evolution of the cartographic ideology away from the decorative work of the 17th and early 18th century towards a more detail oriented and practical aesthetic. With regard to the rendering of terrain Bonne maps bear many stylistic similarities to those of his predecessor, Bellin. However, Bonne maps generally abandon such common 18th century decorative features such as hand coloring, elaborate decorative cartouches, and compass roses. While mostly focusing on coastal regions, the work of Bonne is highly regarded for its detail, historical importance, and overall aesthetic appeal. Click here for a list of rare maps from Rigobert Bonne.

Cartographer:    Jean Lattre (fl. 1743 - 1793) was a Paris based bookseller, engraver, and map publisher active in the mid to late 18th century. Lattre published a large corpus of maps, globes, and atlases in conjunction with a number of other important French cartographic figures, including Janvier, Zannoni, Bonne and Delamarche. He is also known to have worked with other European cartographers such as William Faden of London and the Italian cartographer Santini. Map piracy and copyright violations were common in 18th century France. Paris court records indicate that Lattre brought charges against several other period map publishers, including fellow Frenchman Desnos and the Italian map engraver Zannoni, both of whom he accused of copying his work. Lattre's offices and bookshop were located at 20 rue St. Jaques, Paris, France. Click here for a list of rare maps by Jean Lattre.

Size:   Printed area measures 18 x 13 inches (45.72 x 33.02 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 8600000

Condition:    Very good condition. Original centerfold exhibits minor toning. Blank on verso.

Code:   Barbarie-bonne-1783 (to order by phone call: 646-384-4040)


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