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Stock# 66935

A Fine Example of D'Anville's General Atlas

A complete set of D'Anville's maps as catalogued in his Cartes Geographique de M. D'Anville, in an original green binding. The atlas consists of 30 maps on 36 folding sheets, bound in a tall original binding with original ties.

This is the deluxe presentation of the atlas, which can also be found in a smaller binding with only double page and single page sheets (typically 30 maps on 47 sheets).

The present atlas is D'Anville's one comprehensive set of maps of the world, ancient and modern, the result of meticulous work and rigorous standards that would characterize is life as a mapmaker and geographer.

Jean Baptiste Bourguignon D'Anville

Jean Baptiste Bourguignon D'Anville's work as a mapmaker is of monumental importance.  D'Anville was the first truly scientific mapmaker, strongly preferring to omit any information that could be confirmed to his rigorous specifications.  His work as a geographer and cartographer greatly improved the standards of map-making. His maps of ancient geography, characterized by careful, accurate work and based largely on original research, are especially valuable.  

One of his personal scientific crusades was to reform geography by putting an end to the blind copying of older maps, by testing the commonly accepted positions of places through a rigorous examination of all the descriptive authority, and by excluding from cartography every name inadequately supported. Vast spaces, which had before been bordered with countries and cities, were thus suddenly reduced mostly to a blank.

 D'Anville's historical method was first truly appreciated with his 1743 map of Italy, which first indicated numerous errors in the mapping of that country and was accompanied by a valuable mémoir (a novelty in such work), showing in full the sources of the design. A trigonometrical survey which Benedict XIV soon after had made in the papal states strikingly confirmed the French geographer's results. In his later years D'Anville did yeoman service for ancient and medieval geography, revolutionizing the former by mapping anew the chief countries of the pre-Christian civilizations (especially Egypt), and by his Mémoire et abrégé de géographie ancienne et générale and his États formés en Europe après la chute de l'empire romain en occident (1771). His last work for the French Crown consisted in arranging his collection of maps, plans and geographical materials, the most extensive in Europe during the period, which was purchased by the King and survives intact today at the Bibliotheque National de France.

D'Anville's Atlas

While issued without a title page, the present work includes a catalog of maps (pasted down to sheet #25 as noted below) and was in fact the "complete" set of maps for D'Anville's general atlas.

The maps in this Atlas include:

  1. Hemisphere Occidentale ou du Nouveau Monde . . . (and)  Hemisphere Orientale ou du Nouveau Monde . . . MDCCLXI
  2. Premiere Partie de la Carte D'Europe . . . 
  3. Second Partie de la Carte D'Europe . . . 
  4. Troisime Partie de la Carte D'Europe . . . 
  5. Premiere Partie de la Carte D'Asie . . . 
  6. Seconde Partie de la Carte D'Asie . . . 
  7. Troisieme Partie de la Carte D'Asie . . . 
  8. Afrique . . . (northern sheet)
  9. Afrique . . .  (southern sheet)
  10. Amerique Septentrionale (northern sheet)
  11. Amerique Septentrionale (southern sheet)
  12. Amerique Meridionale (northern sheet)
  13. Amerique Meridionale (southern sheet)
  14. L'Italie
  15. Les Cotes de la Grece et L'Archipel . . . 
  16. Carte de L'Inde (northern sheet)
  17. Carte de L'Inde (southern sheet)
  18. Coromandel . . . Janvier 1753
  19. Essai d'une Novuelle Carte de la Mer Caspienne
  20. Golfe Arabique ou Mer Rouge
  21. Egypte nommee dans le pays Missir . . . MDCCLXV
  22. Carte Particuliere de la Cote Occidentale de L'Afrique Depuis le Cap Blanc jsqu'au Cap de Verga et du Cours des Rivieres de Sengea etg De Gambie . . . 
  23. Canada Louisiane et Terres Angloises . . . MDCCLV (northern sheet)
  24. Canada Louisiane et Terres Angloises . . . MDCCLV (southwestern sheet)
  25. Le Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence River sheet) (with paste down Table of Contents on sheet #25)
  26. Carte de la Louisiane . . . Dressee en Mai 1732.  Publiee en 1752.
  27. Orbis Veteribus Notus
  28. Orbis Romani Pars Occidentalis . . . 
  29. Orbis Romani Pars Orientalis . . . 
  30. Gallia Antiqua
  31. Tabula Italiae Antiquae Geographica . . . 
  32. Graciae Antiquae
  33. Asia, quae vulgo Minor dicitur, et Syria . . . 
  34. La Palestine
  35. Aegyptus Antiqua
  36. Germanie, France, Italiae, Espagne, Isles Britanniques . . .

An unusually fine example in a tall original binding.

Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville Biography

Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782) was one of the foremost French geographers of the eighteenth century. He carried out rigorous research in order to create his maps, which greatly developed the technical proficiency of mapmaking during his lifetime. His style was also simpler and less ornate than that of many of his predecessors. It was widely adopted by his contemporaries and successors.

The son of a tailor, d’Anville showed cartographic prowess from a young age; his first map, of Ancient Greece, was published when he was only fifteen years old. By twenty-two, he was appointed as one of the King’s géographes ordinaire de roi. He tutored the young Louis XV while in the service to the Crown. However, royal appointment did not pay all the bills, so d’Anville also did some work for the Portuguese Crown from 1724. For example, he helped to fill out Dom João V’s library with geographical works and made maps showing Portugal’s African colonies.  

D’Anville disapproved of merely copying features from other maps, preferring instead to return to the texts upon which those maps were based to make his own depictions. This led him to embrace blank spaces for unknown areas and to reject names which were not supported by other sources. He also amassed a large personal map library and created a network of sources that included Jesuits in China and savants in Brazil. D’Anville’s historical approach to cartography resulted in magnificently detailed, yet modern and academic, maps. For example, his 1743 map of Italy improved upon all previous maps and included a memoir laying out his research and innovations. The geographer also specialized in ancient historical geography.

In 1773, d’Anville was named premier géographe de roi. In 1780, he ceded his considerable library to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be used for as a reference library for diplomats. D’Anville is best known for several maps, including his map of China, first published in 1735, and then included with Du Halde’s history of that country (the Hague, 1737). His map of Africa (1749) was used well into the nineteenth century.