1771 Bonne Map of the Guinea Coast of West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands


1771 Bonne Map of the Guinea Coast of West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands


A decorative map of the western portions of Africa.


Carte de la Guinee contenant les Isles du Cap Verd, le Senegal, la Cote de Guinee proprement dite, les Royaumes de Loango, Congo, Angola, et Benguela avec les Pays voisins autant qu'ils sont connus.
  1771 (dated)     17 x 13 in (43.18 x 33.02 cm)     1 : 9000000


A beautiful example of Rigobert Bonne's 1771 decorative map of western Africa. Covers from the Cape Verde Islands eastward to the coasts of Africa and the western mouth of the Niger River. Includes the modern day nations of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire.

As with most maps of Africa from this period, the coastlands are highly detailed while the interior is either blank or extremely speculative. A decorative title cartouche appears in the lower left hand quadrant. Drawn by R. Bonne in 1771 for issue as plate no. A 30 in Jean Lattre's Atlas Moderne.


Rigobert Bonne (October 6, 1727 - September 2, 1794) was one of the most important French cartographers of the late 18th century. Bonne was born in Ardennes à Raucourt, France. He taught himself mathematics and by eighteen was a working engineer. During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740 - 1748) he served as a military engineer at Berg-op-Zoom. It the subsequent years Bonne became one of the most respected masters of mathematics, physics, and geography in Paris. In 1773, Bonne succeeded Jacques-Nicolas 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 - most on an equal-area projection known erroneously as the 'Bonne Projection.' 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 scientific and practical aesthetic. While mostly focusing on coastal regions, the work of Bonne is highly regarded for its detail, historical importance, and overall aesthetic appeal. Bonne died of edema in 1794, but his son Charles-Marie Rigobert Bonne continued to publish his work well after his death.

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.


Lattre, Jean, Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur Toutes les Parties du Globe Terrestre, c.1778.    


Very good. Some toning and wear along original centerfold. Minor foxing. Original platemark visible. Damp stain near centerfold margins.


Rumsey 2612.065. Phillips (Atlases) 664. National Maritime Museum, 215.