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1757 Buache Map of the World on a Polar Projection (Arctic)

A Physical Planisphere wherein are represented all the known Lands and Seas, the Great Chains of Mountains traverse the Globe from the North Pole. - Main View

1757 Buache Map of the World on a Polar Projection (Arctic)



A Physical Planisphere wherein are represented all the known Lands and Seas, the Great Chains of Mountains traverse the Globe from the North Pole.
  1757 (undated)     13 x 12 in (33.02 x 30.48 cm)


This is a beautiful 1757 Philippe Buache map of the world represented on an unusual polar projection rendered from the North Pole. The map covers from the North Pole Arctic region south beyond Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) to include parts of New Zealand and even Cap de la Circoncision (Bouvet Island).

This curious projection has its origins in a 1752 essay presented by Philippe Buache to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris. This paper, Essai de Geographie Physique…, argued that the Earth's great river basins are defined by major mountain ranges, many of which extend beneath the oceans. The map's delineation of physical geography, both on the surface and below the sea support this theory and, true to form, Buache has added additional heretofore unknown mountain ranges where necessary. Some of these include speculative mountainous regions in the northern Sahara, bisecting central India, along the Orinoco basin, and connecting the islands of the Pacific.

Additional elements of interest include various pre-Cook notions of world geography. Among these is an uncertain mapping of eastern Australia connecting it to New Guinea and some smaller Melanesian islands identified here as Terre du St. Espirit, in fact the New Hebrides mis-mapped by the near insane 17th century Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queiros.

Buache also includes a magnificent inland sea, called the Sea of the West or in this case the Mer de L'Ouest, in the northwestern part of the America. This body of water, alternatively called the Sea of the West or Baye de l'Ouest, was speculated by Philippe Buache and Delisle in the early 18th century based upon wishful thinking, American Indian stories, and the somewhat questionable 16th century explorations of Juan de Fuca. Here Buache gives the Mer de l'Ouest its fullest expression, though he specifically does not connect it to either the factual network of lakes and rivers extending westward from the Hudson Bay or to the speculative De Fonte network just to the north.

This map was based on an earlier Buache map first issued in 1752. The present example was engraved by B. Cole and issued as part of the March 1757 edition of The Gentleman's Magazine.


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. More by this mapmaker...

The Gentleman's Magazine (fl. c. 1731 - 1922) was an English periodical founded by visionary Edward Cave. Considered the world's first monthly general interest magazine, GM was also known as Trader's Monthly Intelligencer. Cave's innovation was to create a monthly digest of news and commentary on any topic the educated public might be interested in, from commodity prices to Latin poetry. It carried original content from a stable of regular contributors, as well as extensive quotes and extracts from other periodicals and books. Cave, who edited The Gentleman's Magazine under the pen name "Sylvanus Urban", was the first to use the term "magazine" (meaning "storehouse") for a periodical. The iconic illustration of St John's Gate on the front of each issue (occasionally updated over the years) depicted Cave's home, in effect, the magazine's "office". Among the important firsts of the The Gentleman's Magazine are the first use of the term "magazine" for a periodical and the first regular employment of lexicographer Samuel Johnson. Learn More...


Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Some edge wear near top margin. Minor toning over left margin where map was attached to magazine. Minor foxing.


OCLC: 220900040.