Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Nice example of this detailed map of Tartary, consisting of the Eastern part of Russia, Central Asia, China and Korea, first published by Nicholas De L'Isle in 1706.

The map extends from the Peninsula of Korea in the east to the Caspian and Black Seas. The Great Wall of China is shown, as is the Silk Route, many roads and remote settlements, mountain ranges, rivers, etc.

The wide swath of the Gobi Desert appears quite prominently, as does the Great Kingdom of Tibet, Cossack regions, the Country of the Mongols and many other features.

This map was published shortly after De L'Isle's meeting with Andrey Artamonovich Matyetev, a Russian envoy to the Netherlands charged with updating European views of Russia with regards to Peter the Great's works. De L'Isle draws on a number of sources, including Witsen's map for his eastern part of Russia and Sanson's map for his western part of Russia.

De L'Isle was France's leading map maker in the early 18th Century and he and his heirs dominated the French map trade during most of the 18th century.


We have been able to identify four states of the map:

  1. 1706. Printed by Guillaume de L'Isle. Dated
  2. 1718 ca. Imprint "Premier Geo. du Roi" added in the cartouche. Appears in at least one posthumous edition.
  3. 1745 ca. Imprint in lower right margin: Ph. Buache. . .
  4. 1766. Date changed, and imprint "A Dezuache. . .added.

This map was also contemporaneously reprinted several times by Covens and Mortier in Amsterdam.

Philippe Buache Biography

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).