1770 Bonne Map of West Africa (Guinea, the Bight of Benin, Congo)
Description: A beautiful example of Rigobert Bonne's 1770 decorative map of West Africa. Covers from the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana), south around the Bight of Benin (Biafara) to Gabon, Congo and Angola. Includes the modern day countries of Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and Angola. As with most maps of Africa, this map shows excellent detail along the coast and only speculation in the interior. Give evidence of significant Belgian mapping activities throughout the Congo. Names numerous African Kingdoms including Anzico, Mujaco, Bembe, Lubolo, Pemba, Dembi, Calbongo, Bake-Bake, Benin and others. Attempts to map the Niger River as to flows into the "Desert de Seth" or Saghara, but most of this cartography is speculative at best. Drawn by R. Bonne in 1770 for issue as plate no. B 30 in Jean Lattre's 1776 issue of the Atlas Moderne.
Date: 1770 (undated)
Source: Lattre, Jean, Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur Toutes les Parties du Globe Terrestre, c. 1775.
References: Rumsey 2612.066. 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 17.5 in height x 12.5 inches in width (44.45 x 31.75 centimeters)
Condition: Very good condition. Original centerfold exhibits minor toning. Blank on verso.
Code: WestAfrica-bonne-1770 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 7/3/2014