"Carte des Nouvelles Decouvertes dressee par Phil. Bauche… [on sheet with] Extrait d'Une Carte Japonise de l'Univers…", Robert de Vaugondy, Didier
Subject: North Pacific Ocean
Period: 1772 (published)
Publication: Diderot's Encyclopedie (Supplement)
Color: Black & White
14.6 x 11.5 inches
37.1 x 29.2 cm
When Charles Joseph Panckoucke took over publication of Diderot's Encyclopedie in 1768, he promised to correct the cursory treatment of geography for which the first seventeen volumes had been criticized, with emphasis on the discoveries of the last 25 years. He employed Samuel Engel, a Swiss geographer, to write a series of articles about the northern regions and Didier Robert de Vaugondy to prepare ten maps to illustrate them. Engel rejected the De la Fonte Northwest Passage discoveries and believed the most sensible route from the Atlantic to the Pacific was along the north coast of Siberia. These maps illustrate the discoveries and various cartographic theories concerning the Pacific Northwest, East Asia and the North Pacific Ocean and include some of the most interesting comparative cartography of the eighteenth century
Two very contrasting maps within a single border. Each map covers the north Pacific, including the continents bordering it. The top map depicts the theories of Philip Buache concerning the Northwest Passage, with numerous possible routes through North America, including Lace de Valasco, Lac de Fonte and Mer de l'Ouest. Alaska is shown as an elongated island. In Asia, Kamchatka is fairly well formed but Japan is still quite misshapen. The bottom chart depicts the region per Kaempfer, with Japan nicely detailed, but the coasts of both Asia and North America very deformed.
References: Falk (AK) #1752-2; Wagner (NW), pp. 158-162; Pedley #452.