1772 Vaugondy-Diderot Map of Asia and the Northeast Passage

NordEstAsie-vaugondy-1772-2
$450.00
Nouvelle représentation Des Côtes Nord et Est de l'Asie pour servir d'éclaircissement aux Articles du Supplement de L'Encyclopedie qui concernent le passage aux Indes par le Nord. - Main View
Processing...

1772 Vaugondy-Diderot Map of Asia and the Northeast Passage

NordEstAsie-vaugondy-1772-2

Search for a Northeast Passage.
$450.00

Title


Nouvelle représentation Des Côtes Nord et Est de l'Asie pour servir d'éclaircissement aux Articles du Supplement de L'Encyclopedie qui concernent le passage aux Indes par le Nord.
  1772 (dated)     11.5 x 14 in (29.21 x 35.56 cm)

Description


This is the 1772 Robert de Vaugondy map of Siberia, Kamchatka, and the northeastern extremes of Asia. The map is the third of ten maps Robert de Vaugondy supplied for Diderot's Encyclopédie. This seminal map series, exploring the mapping of North America, Asia, and specifically the Northwest and Northeast Passages, was one of the first studies in comparative cartography. As its title suggests, this map was intended to clarify the articles in the Encyclopédie that pertained to European efforts to discover a viable northeast passage to the East Indies. The Northeast Passage, much like America's Northwest Passage, was a long sought after sea route through the Arctic that would save European merchantmen the expense of rounding Africa in order to access the trade riches of East Asia.
Comparative Cartography
This is a comparative map. The main map shows what was at that time the state-of-the-art cartography of the region, largely derived from J. N. De l'Isle and Philippe Buache. It notes the location of Peking (Beijing) and a relatively accurate depiction of the Korean Peninsula. Japan is shown, with Nagasaki, Osaka, and Iedo (Tokyo) labeled. Interesting features include an insular Iesso north of Japan, separated from the mainland by a 'Strait of Tessoy' (roughly corresponding to the Strait of Tartary). Thus, Iesso here can be understood as an early depiction of Sakahlin Island (Iesso typically refers to Hokkaido). The Kuril Islands are marked and named as well. Part of the northwest coast of North America is shown, separated from Asia by a strait in which appears the island of Puchochotski, here spelled Puchochotsks.
The Mysterious Island of Puchochotski
This is a crescent shaped island shown here in the strait between Asia and America. It was mapped on only a few obscure Russian manuscripts in the second decade of the 18th century, and was probably derived from the discoveries of Petr Popov, who was sent from Anadyrsk to the Chukchi Peninsula in 1711 to reconnoiter and negotiate with the Chukchi Tribes. Popov returned with indigenous reports of a large island one day's voyage east of the Peninsula - without question representing Chukchi knowledge of the Behring Strait and Alaska - marking this as one of the earliest published maps to illustrate Alaska based upon experiential knowledge.
Echoes of Strahlenberg
Both of the inset maps shown here are ultimately derived from the work of the Swedish officer, linguist, cartographer, and hard-luck-case Philipp Johann von Strahlenberg, whose Russian captivity resulted in the earliest accurate mapping of Siberia and Russian Tartary. Inset No. I is credited to the map of the Tatar Empire appearing in the 1726 Histoire genéalogique des Tatars issued by Leyden publisher Kallewier. Both the map and the genealogical history were in fact plagiarized from Strahlenberg's work, stolen in 1715. Inset No. II is copied from the 1725 map of Nuremberg mapmaker J. B. Homann, whose source for his cartography is traced to the 1718 map which Strahlenberg produced to replace the work stolen in 1715. (Indeed, this and Homann's map represent our only glimpse of Strahlenberg's 1718 map, which is also lost.)
The Chukchi Peninsula
Contrasting sharply in each of these three maps is the depiction of the Chuchki Peninsula, variously spelled 'Tchutski,' 'Tzchalatzki,' and 'Tzuktschi.' This first shows up in Strahlenberg's lost 1715 map (as shown in inset No. I) and reappears in a revised form in his lost 1718 map (as shown in inset No. II.) The main map retains the peninsula, in still another form adopted by De l'Isle.
Publication History and Census
This map is part of the 10 map series prepared by Robert de Vaugondy for the Supplement to Diderot's Encyclopédie, of which this is plate 3. We are aware of two states of this map: a second includes the page number 162. A fully re-engraved plate dated 1779 with the imprint of Livorno engraver Spadaccini is also known. The present example, lacking page number, corresponds to the first state. The Supplément à l'Encyclopédie is well represented in institutional collections. We see five examples of this state of the separate map catalogued in OCLC.

CartographerS


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...


Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 - July 31, 1784) was a French Enlightenment era philosopher, publisher and writer. Diderot was born in the city of Langres, France and educated at the Lycée Louis le Grand where, in 1732, he earned a master of arts degree in philosophy. Diderot briefly considered careers in the clergy and in law, but in the end chose the more fiscally challenge course of a writer. Though well respected in philosophical circles Diderot was unable to obtain any of the government commissions that commonly supported his set and consequently spent much of his life in deep poverty. He is best known for his role in editing and producing the Encyclopédie . The Encyclopédie was one of the most revolutionary and impressive works of its time. Initially commissioned as a translation of Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Diderot instead turned into a much larger and entirely new work of monumental depth and scope. Diderot's Encyclopédie was intended to lay bare before the common man the intellectual mysteries of science, art and philosophy. This revolutionary mission was strongly opposed by the powers of the time who considered a learned middle class it a threat to their authority. In the course of the Encyclopédie production Diderot was imprisoned twice and the work itself was officially banned. Nonetheless, publication continued in response to a demand exceeding 4000 subscribers. The Encyclopédie was finally published in 1772 in 27 volumes. Following the publication of the Encyclopédie Diderot grew in fame but not in wealth. When the time came to dower his only surviving daughter, Angelique, Diderot could find no recourse save to sell his treasured library. In a move of largess, Catherine the II Russia sent an emissary to purchased the entire library on the condition that Diderot retain it in his possession and act as her "librarian" until she required it. When Diderot died of gastro-intestinal problems 1784, his heirs promptly sent his vast library to Catherine II who had it deposited at the Russian National Library, where it resides to this day. Learn More...


Philipp Johann von Strahlenberg (October 6, 1677 - September 7, 1747), aka Philip Johan Tabbert, was a Swedish army officer of Germanic descent. Strahlenberg was born in the Hanseatic town Stralsund, now Pomerania, Germany, but then part of Sweden. Strahlenberg joined the Swedish army in 1694, being promoted to Captain in 1703. When he was ennobled in 1707, he took the name Strahlenberg. During the Great Northern War (1700 - 1721) between Russia and Sweden, Strahlenberg was captured and sent to Tobolsk, where he lived the commodious life of a noble prisoner of war from 1711 to 1721. During this time, he developed a fascination with the the geography of Siberia and studied the anthropology, languages, and customs of its indigenous peoples. He also worked as an assistant to the German explorer and naturalist Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt (1685-1735), who was then working for Peter the Great. Along with fellow Swedish prisoner, Johan Anton von Matérn, Strahlenberg dedicated himself to the composition of a large new map of Russia. Strahlenberg recommended that the Ural Mountains serve as the eastern borders of the European continent, an idea that was later approved by the Tsar. He returned to Sweden in 1722, and in 1730 he published an important book about Siberia, Das Nord- und Ostliche Theil von Europa und Asia (North and Eastern Parts of Europe and Asia), and its accompanying map. Learn More...


Joseph-Nicolas De l'isle (April 4, 1688 – September 11, 1768) was a French astronomer and cartographer. He was the younger brother of the illustrious Geographer to the King, Guillaume De l'isle. He studied astronomy under Joseph Lieutaud and Jacques Cassini. In 1714 he entered the French Academy of Sciences; from 1719 to 1722 he was employed at the Royal observatory, and would meet Halley in 1724. In 1725 he was among the Western academics invited to Saint Petersburg by Tsar Peter the Great; his appointment to the Russian Academy would be both lucrative and academically to his profit, giving him access to the most current surveys of the easternmost reaches of the Russian Empire, including the revelations of Vitus Bering. He personally participated in expeditions to Siberia, with the object of studying astronomical events observations but also making cartographic, ethnographic and zoological observations. He was invited to collaborate with Ivan Kirilov on a planned atlas of the Russian Empire, but disagreements about methodology limited his engagement and the Atlas was abandoned at Kirilov's death in 1737. De l'Isle's extreme rigor, too proved to be frustratingly slow for the Academy, leading to his dismissal from the Atlas project in 1740. Accusations that he was sending secret documents to France surfaced as well. As De l'Isle's position grew increasingly untenable, he would request permission to leave Russia in 1743, which he would do in 1747. Ironically, the Atlas Rossicus would be published under De l'Isle's name; historians disagree whether the honor was justified. Upon his return to France, De l'Isle would vigorously publish maps containing the geographical data he gathered during his Russian tenure, to the extent that the accusations of his theft of secret Russian cartographic information appear credible. He would work extensively with his nephew-in-law, Philippe Buache, in publicizing an array of maps revealing the Russian discoveries in conjunction with an array of less credible cartographic revelations in the Pacific Northwest of America. Later, he would be instrumental in spurring the international effort to coordinate observations of the 1761 Transit of Venus, despite the execution of the observations being interfered with by the Seven Years' War. Learn More...


Phillipe Buache (February 7, 1700 - January 24, 1773) was a late 18th century French cartographer and map publisher. Buache began his cartographic career as the workshop assistant and apprentice to the important and prolific cartographer Guillaume de L'Isle. Upon De L'Isle's untimely death, Buache took over the publishing firm cementing the relationship by marrying De L'Isle's daughter. Over the years, Bauche republished many of De L'Isle's maps and charts. Buache was eventually appointed Premier Geographe du Roi, a position created-for and previously held by Guillaume de L'Isle. Buache is most respected for his introduction of hachuring as a method from displaying underwater elevation on a two dimensional map surface. Buache compiled maps based upon geographic knowledge, scholarly research, the journals of contemporary explorers and missionaries, and direct astronomical observation. 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 Buache, like his primary rival Robert de Vaugondy, must be considered a speculative geographer or 'positive geographer'. 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. Buache's feuds with other cartographers, most specifically Didier Robert De Vaugondy, 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. Buache was succeeded by his nephew Jean-Nicholas Buache de Neuville. Learn More...

Source


Supplement to Diderot's Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. 1772.    

Condition


Excellent. Bold, sharp strike with generous clean margins. Platemark visible. Original folds, some creasing, else fine.

References


OCLC 309400360. Rumsey 10402.008. Pedley, Mary Sponberg Bel et Utile: The Work of the Robert de Vaugondy Family of Mapmakers, #402.