1807 Vaugondy Map of Poland following the Third Partition

Carte générale du théatre de la guerre en Pologne… Corrigée et Divisée selon les Partages faits en 1772, 1793 et 1795 entre la Russie, la Prusse et l'Autriche. - Main View

1807 Vaugondy Map of Poland following the Third Partition


Extremely rare map of Poland issued just before Napoleon Bonaparte created the Duchy of Warsaw, partially reconstituting the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


Carte générale du théatre de la guerre en Pologne… Corrigée et Divisée selon les Partages faits en 1772, 1793 et 1795 entre la Russie, la Prusse et l'Autriche.
  1807 (dated)     20 x 24.5 in (50.8 x 62.23 cm)     1 : 2490000


An extremely rare 1807 map illustrating the partitioning of Poland. The map extends from Poznan east to Russia and from the Gulf of Livonia south to Moldova and Hungary. The map is attributed to Robert de Vaugondy, and indeed the underlying cartography is based on early work by that cartographer, but it is in fact vastly updated and revised by Charles Delamarche, Vaugondy's successor. The map is intended to illustrate the partition of Poland between 1772 and 1795. In 1807 there was a great deal of interest in Poland among the French populace. Napoleon soundly defeated Russian forces in the June 14, 1807 Battle of Friedland, cementing his control of Central Europe. The subsequent signing of the Treaties of Tilsit by Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon Bonaparte of France. The Treaties created the Duchy of Warsaw, partially reconstituting the Pre-Partition 1772 Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Poles, and indeed, many French, full anticipated that Napoleon, after pushing into Russia, would complete the reconstitution by adding Grand Duchy of Lithuania. As such, the history of Poland's partition and the potential lands to be claimed, where a matter of great interest. Fast moving political events, nonetheless, soon shifted attention elsewhere and the interest in this map may have proven extremely ephemeral, possibly accounting for its extraordinary rarity.

The map employs color coding to identify territories divided by Austria, Prussia and Russia. The Poland here illustrated follows the 1795 Third Partition of Poland. Russia has annexed more the entire western half of the former Polish-Lithuanian Confederation. Austria seized the lands around Lwow and Krakow while Prussia claimed the territories to the north and west of Warsaw. By the mid-18th century Poland, due to an inefficient and corrupt internal bureaucracy, had lost much of its autonomy to its aggressive and powerful neighbors, Russia, Austria and Prussia. The First Partition occurred in 1772 with Prussia occupying Poland's long coveted western territories, Austria seizing Galicia, and Russia taking part of Livonia. In the aftermath of the First Partition, the Second Partition was almost inevitable. Poland allied with Prussia to thwart the ambitions of Russia in the east. This, along with a number of other factors, lead to the War in Defense of the Constitution between Poland and Russia. Largely abandoned by their Prussian allies, Poland could not hope to stand against the powerful Russian military. Poland's defeat resulted in the loss of nearly 50% of its remaining territory to Russia and Prussia, who signed an accord in 1793. The Third Partition of Poland in 1795 would dissolve what remained of the reduced Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ending Polish all autonomy in the 18th century until Napoleon created the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807, the year this map was issued.

Originally created by Robert de Vaugondy, this map was issued in 1807 by Charles Delamarche. It does not regularly appear in Delmarche issues of the Atlas Universel so we may assume it was a separate issue. This map is consequently exceedingly rare. Only two examples are identified in the OCLC and the map does not appear in Pedley.


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. After Didier died, his maps were acquired by Jean-Baptiste Fortin who in 1787 sold them to Charles-François Delamarche (1740 - 1817). While Delamarche prospered from the Vaugondy maps, he also defrauded Vaugondy's window Marie Louise Rosalie Dangy of her inheritance and may even have killed her. Learn More...

Charles-François Delamarche (August 1740 - October 31, 1817) founded the important and prolific Paris based Maison Delamarche map publishing firm in the late 18th century. A lawyer by trade, Delamarche entered the map business with the 1787 acquisition from Jean-Baptiste Fortin of Robert de Vaugondy's map plates and copyrights. Delamarche appears to have been of dubious moral character. In 1795 the widow of Didier Robert de Vaugondy, Marie Louise Rosalie Dangy, petitioned a public committee for 1500 livres, which should have been awarded to her deceased husband. However, Delamarche, proclaiming himself Vaugondy's heir, filed a simultaneous petition and walked away with the funds, most of which he was instructed to distribute to Robert de Vaugondy's widow and children. Just a few months later, however, Delamarche proclaimed Marie Dangy deceased and it is highly unlikely that any funds found their way to Robert de Vaugondy's impoverished daughters. Nonetheless, where Robert de Vaugondy could barely make ends meet as a geographer, Delamarche prospered as a map publisher, acquiring most of the work of earlier generation cartographers Lattre, Bonne, Desnos, and Janvier, thus expanding significantly upon the Robert de Vaugondy stock. Charles Delamarche eventually passed control of the firm to his son Felix Delamarche (c. 1750 - c. 1850) and geographer Charles Dien (1809 - 1870). It was later passed on to Alexandre Delamarche, who revised and reissued several Delamarche publications in the mid-19th century. The firm continued to publish maps and globes until the middle part of the 19th century. Learn More...


Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Minor spotting. Centerfold repair on recto near lower margin, not extending into printed area.


OCLC: 494178058. Malinowski, H. in Map Collectors' Circle no. 43 #478, M 488