1770 Janvier Map of Asia

L'Asie, divisée en ses Principaux Etats. - Main View

1770 Janvier Map of Asia


Identifies the Sea of Korea.


L'Asie, divisée en ses Principaux Etats.
  1771 (undated)     12.25 x 17.75 in (31.115 x 45.085 cm)     1 : 35000000


This is a 1771 Jean Janvier map of Asia. The map depicts from Africa and the Mediterranean to Bering Strait (Detroit du Norte ou d'Anian) and from Nova Zembla and the Arctic Ocean to Java and New Guinea. One of the most interesting characteristics of this map is its rendering of the largely unexplored extreme northwest of Asia. Yeco, or Hokkaido, is mapped only speculatively with its western borders unknown. Sakhalin Island is depicted in an embryonic state.

Just to the east of Yeco (Hokkaido), Janvier maps the apocryphal Terre de Gama or Terre de la Company. Often called de Gamma Land or Gama, these islands were supposedly discovered in the 17th century by a mysterious figure known as Jean de Gama. Various subsequent navigators claim to have seen this land, but it was left to Bering to finally debunk the myth. In 1729, he sailed for three days looking for Juan de Gama Land, but never found it. It is thought that it may be little more than a miss-mapping of Hokkaido or the Japanese Kuriles, Gama or Compagnie remained on maps for about 50 years following Bering's voyages until the explorations of Cook confirmed the Bering findings.

Though the mainland of Siberia and northeast Asia are remarkably well mapped based upon the explorations of Vitus Bering and Tschirikow, a further anomaly appears in the form of an unusual landmass just to the east of Kamchatka roughly where the Aleutian Islands are today. A note reads that this land mass claims that it was seen in 1741, suggesting either Vitus Bering or Alexei Chirikov sighted said landmass. This is most likely an embryonic representation of the Muller Peninsula. The Muller Peninsula was postulated by Gerhard Muller around this time based on recorded sightings of the Aleutian Archipelago and their misinterpretation of it as a single land mass.

Further to the south New Guinea (Nouvelle Guinée) is mapped speculatively with most of its eastern and southern borders left either blank or hidden behind the grand title cartouche.

A decorative title cartouche displaying the riches of the continent appears in the lower right hand quadrant. Drawn by Jean Janvier in 1771 for issue in Jean Lattre's 1776 Atlas Moderne.


Jean or Robert Janvier (fl. 1746 - 1776) was a Paris based cartographer active in the mid to late 18th century. Janvier true first name is a matter of debate, as it appears as it often appears as either Jean or Robert. More commonly, Janvier simply signed his maps Signor Janvier. By the late 18th century Janvier seems to have been awarded the title of "Geographe Avec Privilege du Roi" and this designations appears on many of his latter maps. Janvier worked with many of the most prominent French, English and Italian map publishers of his day, including Faden, Lattre, Bonne, Santini, Zannoni, Delamarche, and Desnos. Learn More...

Jean Lattré (170x - 178x) was a Paris based bookseller, engraver, globe maker, calligrapher, and map publisher active in the mid to late 18th century. Lattré 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 Lattré 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. Lattré likes trained his wife Madame Lattré (né Vérard), as an engraver, as a late 18th century trade card promotes the world of 'Lattré et son Epouse.' Lattré's offices and bookshop were located at 20 rue St. Jaques, Paris, France. Later in life he relocated to Bordeaux. Learn More...


Lattre, Jean, Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur Toutes les Parties du Globe Terrestre, c. 1775.    


Very good. Verso repair to small centerfold separation. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 2612.048. Phillips (Atlases) 664. National Maritime Museum, 215.