• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 38

    ROBERT DE VAUGONDY, Didier (1723-1786). Atlas Universel. Paris: the author and Boudet, 1757[-58].

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    ROBERT DE VAUGONDY, Didier (1723-1786). Atlas Universel. Paris: the author and Boudet, 1757[-58].

    Broadsheets (563 x 448 mm). Printed list of maps tipped to front flyleaf, Avertissement leaf and 17 leaves of descriptive text; 3 leaves of subscribers names. Engraved allegorical title by Charles Baquoy after J. Oger, and 108 double-page engraved maps (including 3 folding maps), hand-colored in outline. Contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt, red morocco label (some light wear and rubbing, short split to front joint). Provenance: R.P. Knight (inkstamp on verso of front free endpaper).

    A VERY FINE LARGE-PAPER COPY. The maps in this atlas include 12 on ancient geography (nos. 1-12); the remainder are of various parts of the world. The 103 listed maps are augmented by five maps of post roads. These were made available to the subscribers for the additional cost of 6 livres. The additional post road maps are: British Isles, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal and Italy. This popular atlas was issued by subscription and 1,118 copies were applied for in all. The Atlas Universel was Robert de Vaugondy's principal atlas first published in 1752, soon after he had set up in business in Paris. Gilles and Didier Robert de Vaugondy, a father and son team, produced their atlases, globes and maps together. In most cases they did not use their first name or initial when signing their maps, so it can be unclear who made a given map. They used strict standards for including maps in the Atlas Universal, one of the most important 18th-century atlases, and used the newest available sources, some dated from 1740 or later. The map of Virginia and Maryland is based on the map by Fry and Jefferson, the maps of Canada and South America are based on material held by the Depot de la Marine. In 1760 Didier Robert de Vaugondy was appointed Royal Geographer to the French court. For an extensive study of Robert de Vaugondy, see Mary Pedley, Bel et Utile: the Work of the Robert de Vaugondy Family of Mapmakers, Tring, 1992. Nordenskjold 245; NMM 266; Phillips Atlases 619; Sabin 71863.


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