1752 D'Anville Wall Map of Southeast Asia, the East Indies, China, Korea and Japan
Description: A remarkable and near pristine example of French cartographer Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville's 1752 map of the East Indies, China Korea and Japan. This impressive map covers from the latitudes of Mongolia and Hokkaido south as far as Timor and Java, including all of China, Japan, Taiwan (Formosa), Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam (Tonquin and Chochine), Laos, Cambodia, Thailand (Siam), Pegu (Burma, Myanmar), Tibet, Malay, Singapore, Sumatra, and Borneo, as well as most of modern day Indonesia.
This map is deceptively sophisticated and dense, so much so that one is immediately inclined to praise its depth without considering its cartographic shortcomings. On the whole, D'Anville presents a highly impressive map of a region then only tenuously understood by European geographers. Korea is notably square at the base. Hokkaido, or Yesso, is attached to the Japanese mainland as well as grossly malformed. Okinawa is so massively oversized that it nearly eclipses Taiwan - a clear indication that D'Anville is drawing from Japanese manuscript sources that typically mapped the island as such. The map's density rapidly diminishes as once moves south out of China into the lesser known kingdoms of Southeast Asia and the East India Islands. While the major river systems are mapped with some accuracy, particularly in Pegu (Burma), Siam (Thailand), Laos, and Cambodia, the remainder of the region is vague at best. The interiors, with the exception of Java and the Philippines, both of which had been aggressively mapped by the Dutch and Spanish, respectively, are generally empty and vague. The Straits of Singapore (Sin Capura) are noted and the island of Singapore is present, if unlabeled.
D'Anville prepared this map in 1752. Like most D'Anville maps it was an independent issue and included in various made-to-order atlases on a case-by-case basis. It was engraved for D'Anville by Guillaume Delahaye.
Date: 1752 (dated)
References: Rumsey 2603.006.
Cartographer: Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697-1782) was perhaps the most important and prolific cartographer of the 18th century. D'Anville's passion for cartography manifested during his school years when he amused himself by composing maps for Latin texts. There is a preserved manuscript dating to 1712, Graecia Vetus, which may be his earliest surviving map - he was only 15 when he drew it. He would retain an interest in the cartography of antiquity throughout his long career and published numerous atlases to focusing on the ancient world. At twenty-two D'Anville, sponsored by the Duke of Orleans, was appointed Geographer to the King of France. As both a cartographer and a geographer, he instituted a reform in the general practice of cartography. Unlike most period cartographers, D'Anville did not rely exclusively on earlier maps to inform his work, rather he based his maps on intense study and research. His maps were thus the most accurate and comprehensive of his period - truly the first modern maps. Thomas Basset and Philip Porter write: "It was because of D'Anville's resolve to depict only those features which could be proven to be true that his maps are often said to represent a scientific reformation in cartography." (The Journal of African History, Vol. 32, No. 3 (1991), pp. 367-413). In 1754, when D'Anville turned 57 and had reached the height of his career, he was elected to the Academie des Inscriptions. Later, at 76, following the death of Philippe Buache, D'Anville was appointed to both of the coveted positions Buache held: Premier Geographe du Roi, and Adjoint-Geographer of the Academie des Sciences. During his long career D'Anville published some 211 maps as well as 78 treatises on geography. D'Anville's vast reference library, consisting of over 9000 volumes, was acquired by the French government in 1779 and became the basis of the Depot Geographique - though D'Anville retained physical possession his death in 1782. Remarkably almost all of D'Anville's maps were produced by his own hand. His published maps, most of which were engraved by Guillaume de la Haye, are known to be near exact reproductions of D'Anville' manuscripts. The borders as well as the decorative cartouche work present on many of his maps were produced by his brother Hubert-Francois Bourguignon Gravelot. The work of D'Anville thus marked a transitional point in the history of cartography and opened the way to the maps of English cartographers Cary, Thomson and Pinkerton in the early 19th century. Click here for a list of rare maps by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville.
Cartographer: Guillaume Delahaye (1725 - 1802) was the most prolific member of the Delahaye (De-La-Haye) family of engravers active in Paris throughout the 18th century. The Delahaye family engraved for many of the great cartographers of 18th century Paris, including D'Anville and Vaugondy. Guillaume also worked with foreign cartographers such as Tomas Lopez of Madrid. Possibly Delahaye's most significant map is A Map of the Country between Albemarle Sound and Lake Erie prepared for the memoires of Thomas Jefferson. Delahaye was succeeded by his daughter, E. Haussard. Click here for a list of rare maps from the Delahaye Family.
Size: Printed area measures 28 x 39 inches (71.12 x 99.06 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 7150000
Condition: Very good. Two sheets joined. Original platemark visible.
Code: EastAsiaSoutheastAsia-anville-1752 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
Tags: D'Anville , Speculative Cartography , Delahaye