Philippe Buache Presents His Most Famous Cartographic Theories & Updates
Rare State of the De L'Isle-Buache Double Hemisphere Map of the World, updated to include the the information incorporated by Buache in his monumental Considerations Geographiques, as submitted to the French Royal Academy of Sciences on September 5, 1739, and between September 6, 1752 and September 4, 1754.
The Avertissement at the bottom center notes that Buache has constructed his map from De L'Isle's map of 1720, incorporating information which Buache had presented to the Royal Academy on the dates listed above.
This rare transitional state introduces a number of new cartographic facts and myths, including the Bay of the West (Mer de l'Ouest) and several curious theories on the Northwest Passage which would be debated in Paris for the next 25 years.
In the southern hemisphere, the Cape de la Circoncision and discoveries in the Antarctic regions are noted. Emphasized on the map is the route of the 1738-9 voyage of Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier (1705-86), commanding the ships Aigle and Marie, undertaken at the behest of the French East India Company. Bouvet's mandate was to find the apocryphal great southern continent. The text mentions Bouvet's discovery of icebergs between two and three hundred feet high and half a league to two or three leagues in circumference. On January 1, 1739, Bouvet encountered an icy promontory, which he named Cap de la Circoncision, at 54° South, below Africa, supposedly located next to one of the openings of his polar sea, where he had recorded his many great icebergs. The icebergs noted by Edmund Halley and Captain Davies are also noted on either side of Tierra del Fuego.
The map also provides a fine overview of the routes of a number of important early explorers, including Tasman, Magellan, Quiros, Mendana and the Russian explorations in the 1740s on the northwest coast of America.
Philippe Buache (1700-1773) was one of the most famous French geographers of the eighteenth century. Buache was married to the daughter of the eminent Guillaume Delisle and worked with his father-in-law, carrying on the business after Guillaume died. Buache gained the title geographe du roi in 1729 and was elected to the Academie des Sciences in the same year. Buache was a pioneering theoretical geographer, especially as regards contour lines and watersheds. He is best known for his works such as Considérations géographiques et physiques sur les découvertes nouvelles dans la grande mer (Paris, 1754).