This is a beautiful first edition first state 1750 map of the West by Robert de Vaugondy. It covers the Caribbean from southern Florida south to Trinidad and Tobago. Includes Cuba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Santo Domingo, and the Lesser Antilles and renders the region in detail offering both topographical and political information. Florida is misshapen with no trace of the Keys. Further south, the West Indies are fairly well mapped suggesting a relative accurate picture of the islands. This map also offers splendid detail throughout with respect to undersea shoals and reefs in the surrounding waters.
A beautifully engraved title cartouche adorns the top right quadrant of the map. This map was drawn by Robert de Vaugondy and engraved by Guillaume Delahaye in 1750 and published in multiple editions of the Atlas Universal. The map exists in two states, the preset example being state 1.
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.
Guillaume-Nicolas Delahaye (1725 - February 24, 1802) was the most prolific member of the Delahaye (De-La-Haye) family of engravers active in Paris throughout the 18th century. Given that the name, Delahaye literally translates to 'of the Hague' it can be assume they were French Huguenots who were forced to flee the Netherlands under threat of religious persecution. Born in Paris, he was the son of patriarch Jean-Baptiste Delahaye and brother to Jean-Baptistie-Henri Delahaye. It is said that his godfather, who held him at the baptismal font, was none other than the famous french cartographer Guillaume de L'Isle. The Delahaye family engraved for many of the great cartographers of 18th century Paris, including Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, Didier Robert de Vaugondy, Jean-Baptiste de Mannevillette, and Jean-Nicolas Buache, among others. He was awarded the public office Premier Graveur du Roi and worked on a series of maps illustrating the king's hunts around Versailles. Guillaume also worked with foreign cartographers such as Tomas Lopez of Madrid. Possibly Delahaye's most significant map is A Map of the Country between Albemarle Sound and Lake Erie prepared for the memories of Thomas Jefferson. He married in 1758. In total he engraved some 1200 maps. Delahaye died in Charenton. In 1792, his daughter, Antoinette Marie Delahaye (1773-1857), married the geographer Jean-Denis Barbie du Bocage.
Vaugondy, R., Atlas Universel (Paris) 1757.
The Atlas Universel was the crowning glory of the Robert de Vaugondy firm's atlas production. The atlas was revolutionary on many levels and exemplified the Vaugondy creedo commode, complet, univorme, et suive (convenient, complete, uniform, and easy to use). The atlas thus consisted of a wide corpus of maps, both modern and historical, was of moderate height and width, and featured maps of uniform style and structure. They partnered with Antoine Boudet, a shrewd businessman and publisher with whom they had worked previously, to produce the first edition. To minimize his fiscal risk, Boudet sold the atlas first by subscription using a large prospectus, receiving in the process over 1100 pre-orders. The first edition appeared in 1757 and contained beautifully produced maps with elaborate freshly designed allegorical cartouche work, generally by Pierre-Edme Babel, Pierre Philippe Choffard, and Charles Nicholas Cochin. Most of the maps were engraved by the Delahaye firm, the payment for whose services ultimately led to legal disputes. Despite proving a popular work of astounding quality, the Atlas Universal received harsh criticism from fellow cartographers, particularly Philipppe Buache. Ever at odds with the Vaugondys, Buache's critical perspective may have been influenced more by political maneuvering than academic affront. The atlas was issued in multiple editions between 1757 and 1788. Later editions, issued after 1786, were taken over by Charles Delamarche, who inherited the Robert de Vaugondy firm and assumed Boudet's publication rights.
Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Some spotting to margins.
Rumsey 3353.103. Pedley, Mary Sponberg Belle et Utile: The Work of the Robert de Vaugondy Family of Mapmakers, 476, state 1.