1749 Vaugondy Map of Asia

Carte Générale de l'Empire des Russes et de la Tartarie Universelle. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy Fils de M. Robert Geogr. ord. du Roi. - Main View

1749 Vaugondy Map of Asia


Gorgeous hand colored map of Asia depicting Peking and Nanking.


Carte Générale de l'Empire des Russes et de la Tartarie Universelle. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy Fils de M. Robert Geogr. ord. du Roi.
  1749 (dated)     6.5 x 8 in (16.51 x 20.32 cm)     1 : 43200000


This is a hand colored 1749 Didier Robert de Vaugondy map of Asia. The map depicts from Poland and Scandinavia to Kamchatka, Japan, and the Pacific Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean and Nova Zemba (labeled as Nouvelle Zemle) to Persia and southern China. Russia is divided in two along the Ural Mountains: the western portion 'Great Russia' or Grande Russie includes Moscow and St. Petersburg and the eastern portion, Siberia contains several mountain ranges and forests, all presented in profile, numerous rivers, and a few settlements. Independent Tartary lies between Russia and Chinese territories, traversing from the Black Sea, across the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, into Asia. China is divided into several different regions, including Chinese Tartary, a few kingdoms, and China proper, which includes Beijing (Pekin) and Nanjing (Nankin). Tibet is labeled, including a reference to the Dalai Lama, and Lhasa (Lassa) is labeled as well. Taiwan / Formosa is labeled along the Chinese coast. The Korean peninsula is both depicted and labeled. Japan is labeled; however, the island of Hokkaido is missing. Throughout the map, rivers and lakes are depicted. Mountain ranges snake across the continent, and cities and towns dot the landscape.

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. 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. More by this mapmaker...


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. 200, 401. OCLC 230893870.