Cote Occidentale d'Afrique depuis le Detroit de Gibraltar jusqu'au C. Blanc où se trouvent les Etats du Roi de Maroc. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy Fils de Mr. Robert Geogr. ord. du Roi.
1749 (dated) 6.5 x 7.75 in (16.51 x 19.685 cm)
1 : 12000000
This is a hand colored 1749 Didier Robert de Vaugondy map of northwestern Africa, depicting from the Canary Islands to Algeria and from southern Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar to Western Sahara and Mauritania. The map centers on Morocco, which is divided into four distinct regions, the States of the King of Morocco (Etats du Roi de Maroc). The first, the Kingdom of Fez (Royaume de Fez), was established in the 8th century and existed until the establishment of the French and Spanish protectorate in 1912. The Kingdom of Fez included both Fez and Tangiers. The Kingdom of Morocco is also labeled, while the other two states are not. The Atlas Mountains divide the three states along the coast, the Kingdom of Fez, the Kingdom of Morocco, and a third, unlabeled, state, from the fouth, which parallels the mountains and is depicted as equivalent in size to the other three combined. Outside of Morocco, the regions are collectively labeled as the Sahara, or Desert of Barbary (Saara ou Desert de Barbarie). Several different tribes of 'Arabs' are labeled in these areas. Off the coast of Africa, the seven Canary Islands are depicted, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro (I. de Fer). The 'First Meridian' runs through El Hierro and was fixed there by a decree of French King Louis XIII in 1634. The islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are depicted above the Canary Islands. The southern tip of Spain is also included and Cadiz, Malaga, and Gibraltar are labeled. Rivers are depicted throughout the map and towns dot the landscape in the States of the King of Morocco.
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. Blank on verso. Original press mark visible.
Pedley, M. S., Bel et Utile, p. 206, 434. OCLC 159769980.