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A fascinating map of the Northwest Coast, showing De L'Isle's conjectural northwest coast, based upon De Font and Russian Discoverers, including the Bay of the West. The map is part of the great mid-18th Century debate, spurred by the reports of JN De L'Isle of the Russian discoveries in the region prior to 1750, which he obtained during his time working in St. Petersburg. The debate was fed by the maps of Buache and Jefferys, which provided radically different accounts of the coast. Ulimately, the discoveries during Cook's first voyage put and end to the debate. This map tracks the voyages of Tchirikow, Frondat, Bering, and others Russians during the first part of the 18th Century and credits De Fuca, d'Aguilar and De Font with discoveries on the NW Coast. The Massive Sea of the West is drawn from Buache's model, with numerous other wide watercourses both through the central continent and above the arctic circle, all richly annotated with source information. Most remarkable may be the seemingly blocking land mass above lac Bernarda, seemingly advising the reader that not only is there no NW passage abvove that point, but that attempts to seek it will force a Northeast Passage back to the Atlantic over Russia and Scandinavia--a clear case of carto-advocacy. An essential map for regional collectors. Gorgeous full color example.

Didier Robert de Vaugondy Biography

Didier Robert de Vaugondy (ca. 1723-1786) was the son of prominent geographer Gilles Robert de Vaugondy and Didier carried on his father’s impressive work. Together, they published their best-known work, the Atlas Universel (1757). The atlas took fifteen years to create and was released in a folio and ¾ folio edition; both are rare and highly sought-after today. Together and individually, father and son were known for their exactitude and depth of research.

Like his father, Didier served as geographer to King Louis XV. He was especially recognized for his skills in globe making; for example, a pair of his globes made for the Marquise de Pompadour are today in the collection of the Municipal Museum of Chartres. Didier was also the geographer to the Duke of Lorraine. In 1773, he was appointed royal censor in charge of monitoring the information published in geography texts, navigational tracts, and travel accounts.