c. 1788 Map, “Les Etats Unis de L’Amerique Septentrionale, Partie Orientale” (Eastern Part of the Northern United States of America) by M. (Rigobert) Bonne
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c. 1788 Map, “Les Etats Unis de L’Amerique Septentrionale, Partie Orientale” (Eastern Part of the Northern United States of America) by M. (Rigobert) Bonne, Paris, Choice Extremely Fine.
This striking, highly detailed, and very interesting Map measures 14.25” x 9.75” (plate size) and is printed on a deckled sheet of fine, laid period paper to an overall size of 17.25” x 12.25.” Sharply printed, the copper plate outer impression is visible embossed lightly in the paper. The area covered by this map extends from Georgia to Massachusetts Bay (predating Maine). The map provides excellent topographic details of settlements, rivers, lakes, reliefs and islands. The paper is reasonably fresh and bright for its age and the printing is crisp with three, unobtrusive, horizontal folds yet displays very nicely, especially if framed. This “snapshot” by one France’s preeminent mapmakers illustrates the Eastern United States subsequent to the Revolutionary War and in the year just before the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Rigobert Bonne (October 6, 1727 - September 2, 1794) was one of the most important French cartographers of the late 18th century. Bonne was born in Ardennes Raucourt, France. He taught himself mathematics and by eighteen was a working engineer. During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740 - 1748) he served as a military engineer at Berg-op-Zoom.
In the subsequent years Bonne became one of the most respected masters of mathematics, physics, and geography in Paris. In 1773, Bonne succeeded Jacques-Nicolas Bellin as Royal Cartographer to France in the office of the Hydrographer at the Dept de la Marine.
Working in his official capacity, Bonne compiled some of the most detailed and accurate maps of the period - most on an equal-area projection known erroneously as the 'Bonne Projection.' Bonne's work represents an important step in the evolution of the cartographic ideology away from the decorative work of the 17th and early 18th century towards a more scientific and practical aesthetic.
While mostly focusing on coastal regions, the work of Bonne is highly regarded for its detail, historical importance, and overall aesthetic appeal. Bonne died of edema in 1794, but his son Charles-Marie Rigobert Bonne continued to publish his work well after his death.