Folio (21 4/8 x 16 6/8 inches). Engraved title-page, 2-page manuscript contents listing 55 maps. 43 fine double-page engraved maps including Lattre's double-page and folding map of "des Etats-Unis de l'Amerique suivant le Traite de Paix de 1783", and Bonne's map of "Des Isles Antilles et de Golfe de Mexique; avec la Majeure partie de la Nouvelle Espagne..." on 3 separate sheets, 12 full-page maps, all maps with original hand-colour in outline, many with additional original hand-colour in part (please ask for a complete list, map of Switzerland torn in half down the central fold). Contemporary tan calf (very worn).
Provenance: contemporary French manuscript contents leaf, titles to verso of each map, and numbers to recto, Lattre's map of the United States with an interesting annotation on the verso listing in table form the population of, and the number of border disputes for each former colony since the 'constitution'.
An important composite atlas, containing many fine maps dated between 1759 and 1784, by De l'Isle, Buache, Janvier, Zannoni, St. Angelo, Bonne, Jaillot, Robert, Vaugondy, and Lattre himself. Two maps are of the utmost importance, and are present here as superb examples:
LATTRE, Jean (fl: 1743 - 1793). "Carte des Etats-Unis de l'Amerique suivant le Traite de Paix de 1783. Dediee et Presentee a s Excellence Mr. Benjamin Franklin..." Paris: Lattre, 1784.
3 sheets joined (24 4/8 x 40 inches; 21 x 29 inches to the neat line). Fine folding engraved map of the United States of America after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, with engraved side panels detailing the principle events of the American Revolution from 1775-1781 colony by colony, with a fine and elaborately decorated allegorical cartouche of a galleon lower right, the title and dedication to Benjamin Franklin appearing on an unfurling sail, an inset of southern Florida and the Bahamas lower centre, and a list of the thirteen states and their capitals next to it, all with beautiful original hand-colour in outline and in full (one or two small holes where folds meet, and a little creased, but EXCEPTIONALLY BRIGHT AND ATTRACTIVE).
Based on John Mitchell's iconic map of 1755, which was used to negotiate the Treaty of Paris in 1783 that ended the American Revolutionary War, Lattre's map was published in June of 1784, and is the first French map to depict the newly formed United States, and one of the earliest maps of the United States to use that term, and the first published after the final ratification of the Treaty by both France and Britain in February and April of 1784, respectively. Wallis's map of April 1783 precedes the signing of the Treaty by both nations, and Buell's map of April 1784 precedes ratification of the Treaty by Britain.
As such the map extends to the east as far as eastern Canada and the important fishing banks off Newfoundland; and to the Mississippi River in the west, with the area west of the Allegany Mountains inhabited only by Indian nations and a few forts. The thirteen original British colonies are well defined with alternating body and border colours.
Lattre's dedication of the map to Benjamin Franklin, who as American ambassador to France, represented the United States at the peace negotiations, "lends historical significance to the work," (Cappon). This was undoubtedly Lattre's most significant map In 1762 he published the 'Atlas Moderne' to accompany de la Croix's 'Geographie Moderne', and he also engraved maps for Robert de Vaugondy, Janvier and Bonne, all of whose work is represented in this atlas. (Lester Cappon, The First French Map of the United States; McCorkle, New England in Early Printed Maps, #784; Pritchard and Taliaferro, Degrees of Latitude, #70; Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 63, reproduced on p. 65; Sellers & Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America, p. 158).
BONNE, Rigobert (1727-1795). Des Isles Antilles et de Golfe de Mexique; avec la Majeure partie de la Nouvelle Espagne...Paris: Lattre, 1782.
Three separate sheets (30 x 21 4/8 inches; 26 x 20 inches to the neat line). Three fine double -page engraved maps of the Gulf of Mexico showing the winds and their directions, the title lower left, with original hand-colour in outline and in part.
A magnificent map, first published in 1780, here with corrections to 1782, in superb condition. Bonne succeeded Jacques Nicolas Bellin as Royal Cartographer to France in the office of the Hydrographer at the Depôt de la Marine, but abandoned many of the more decorative elements of Bellin's maps, instead focusing on coastal details and practical use. This particular map is a prime example of this new approach, including as it does a very thorough description of the winds and their direction. As such it was a map much favoured by navigators and so is usually found heavily annotation and in poor condition. The map covers the Southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies: showing provinces, harbours, bays, towns, forts, channels, of Florida, the Gulf Coast, Texas, Mexico, Baja California, the Caribbean, and Central America. Lowery 648n. Sellers & Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies 1750-1789.
A student of the noted French cartographer, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the son of Claude Delisle, the geographer and historian to the king, Guillaume Delisle developed a strong basis for his cartographical skills. He produced his first terrestrial globe in 1699, and displayed a profound talent for capturing a high level of accuracy and geographical knowledge. In 1718, Louis XIV celebrated his much revered skill and accuracy by appointing him First Geographer to the French Monarchy, a title created specifically for him. In his many years in this position, Delisle became known for his correction of geographical errors common to his contemporaries, including dispelling the rumor of mythical lands in still-unexplored regions. Catalogued by Kate Hunter