1783 Bonne Map of China, Korea, Japan and Formosa

L'Empire de la Chine d'Apres L'Atlas Chinois avec Les Isles du Japon. - Main View

1783 Bonne Map of China, Korea, Japan and Formosa


Identifies the Sea of Japan.


L'Empire de la Chine d'Apres L'Atlas Chinois avec Les Isles du Japon.
  1783 (undated)     12.5 x 18 in (31.75 x 45.72 cm)     1 : 9300000


A lovely example of Rigobert Bonne's c.1783 decorative map of China, Korea (Corea), Japan and Formosa (Taiwan). The map extends from Tibet and Chinese Tartary east to Japan and south to Hainan. China is divided into various provinces with major cities, lakes, and riverways notes. Names Macao, Canton, Nanking (Nanjing), Jedo (Tokyo), Peking (Beijing) and countless other cities. The sea between Japan and Korea, whose name, either the 'Sea of Korea' or the 'Sea of Japan,' is currently a matter of historical and political dispute between the two countries, is here identified in favor of Japan.

The lower right quadrant is decorated with an elaborate title cartouche showing an Chinese scholar or monk relaxing with a bird in a forest under a parasol. Drawn by R. Bonne for issue as plate no. 35 in Jean Lattre's 1776 issue of the 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. More by this mapmaker...

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. 1783.    


Very good. Minor wear and toning along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Minor foxing.


Rumsey 2612.058. Phillips (Atlases) 664. National Maritime Museum, 215.