Striking example of Diderot's 5 maps of California, showing the historical evolution of the various mappings of the region, including the work of Pecci (1604), Sanson (1656), De L'Isle (1700), Kino (1705), and the Society of Jesuits (1767). One of the best collector's maps of California, representing the major early configurations on a single sheet. Diderot's maps were intended to further an understanding of the Western Coast of America, and NE Asia, during a time period immediately prior to Cook's first voyage where numerous theories abounded on these regions, especially the NW Coast of America.
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.