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1749 Vaugondy Map of Mexico

Partie du Mexique ou de la Nouvelle Espagne où se trouve l'Audience de Mexique. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy, Fils de Mr. Robert Géogr. ordin. du Roi.

1749 Vaugondy Map of Mexico


Incredible hand colored map of Mexico depicting Cozumel Island.



Partie du Mexique ou de la Nouvelle Espagne où se trouve l'Audience de Mexique. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy, Fils de Mr. Robert Géogr. ordin. du Roi.
  1749 (dated)    6.5 x 9.5 in (16.51 x 24.13 cm)     1 : 8200000


This is a hand colored 1749 Didier Robert de Vaugondy map of Mexico. The map depicts Mexico from the Audience de Guadalaxara and Nouveau Leon, or approximately today's border between the United States and Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala and from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Several different states/regions are differentiated on the map, including a state named after Mexico City, which is labeled. Acapulco and Guadalajara are also labeled. Cozumel Island is depicted to the right of the Yucatan Peninsula near the right border. Myriad rivers are illustrated and mountain ranges are depicted in profile.

This map was published by Gilles Robert de Vaugondy in his Atlas Universel, Portatif et Militaire in the 1749 edition.


Gilles (1688 - 1766) and Didier (c. 1723 - 1786) Robert de Vaugondy were map publishers, engravers, and cartographers active in Paris during the mid-18th century. The father and son team were the inheritors to the important Sanson cartographic firm whose stock supplied much of their initial material. Graduating from Sanson's map's Gilles, and more particularly Didier, began to produce their own substantial corpus of work. Vaugondys were well respected for the detail and accuracy of their maps in which they made excellent use of the considerable resources available in 18th century Paris to produce the most accurate and fantasy-free maps possible. The Vaugondys compiled each map based upon their own superior geographic knowledge, scholarly research, the journals of contemporary explorers and missionaries, and direct astronomical observation - moreover, unlike many cartographers of this period, they commonly took pains to reference their source material. Nevertheless, even in 18th century Paris geographical knowledge was severely limited - especially regarding those unexplored portions of the world, including the poles, the Pacific northwest of America, and the interior of Africa and South America. In these areas the Vaugondys, like their rivals De L'Isle and Buache, must be considered speculative geographers. Speculative geography was a genre of mapmaking that evolved in Europe, particularly Paris, in the middle to late 18th century. Cartographers in this genre would fill in unknown areas on their maps with speculations based upon their vast knowledge of cartography, personal geographical theories, and often dubious primary source material gathered by explorers and navigators. This approach, which attempted to use the known to validate the unknown, naturally engendered many rivalries. Vaugondy's feuds with other cartographers, most specifically Phillipe Buache, resulted in numerous conflicting papers being presented before the Academie des Sciences, of which both were members. The era of speculatively cartography effectively ended with the late 18th century explorations of Captain Cook, Jean Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, and George Vancouver.


Robert de Vaugondy, G. Atlas Portatif, Universel, et Militaire (Paris: Vaugondy, Durand, Pissot) 1749.    


Very good. Discoloration along left margin. Close left margin. Original press mark visible. Blank on verso.


Pedley, M. S., Bel et Utile, p. 216, 483.
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