DELISLE, Guillaume; Philippe Buache; & Jean Claude Dezauche.
Atlas geographique et universel.
First edition thus and uncommon (just four listings on OCLC, three of these for the BNF, and no complete copy at auction for 30 years). Jean-Claude Dezauche was one of the geographer-publishers most influential in the establishment of the French theoretical approach to cartography. This movement, which downplayed the decorative elements esteemed by the Dutch school and accentuated the importance of scientific rigour and accuracy, can be traced back to the work of Guillaume Delisle – “one of the key figures in the development of French cartography” (Tooley) – who had studied under Jean-Dominique Cassini, director of the Paris observatory. Delisle’s business was inherited by his son-in-law Philippe Buache, who had studied with him, and who entered the Depôt des Cartes et Plans de Marine in 1721, in 1729 being appointed “premier géographe du roi”, a position previously held by his father-in-law. On his death, his widow sold his work to Jean Nicholas Buache de la Neuville, Philippe’s nephew, and in 1780 Dezauche bought it from him together with work by Delisle, Jaillot and others. He in turn made his own alterations and improvements to the maps, and then re-issued them in a revised form, for example the twin- and four-hemispheric world maps in volume I, the former dated 1792, have been revised to include the latest discoveries from Cook’s voyages. An excellent, complete and inclusive French atlas of the eighteenth century.
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2 volumes, folio (453 375 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked, red morocco labels. Engraved allegorical title page and contents leaves to each and 151 double-page or folding maps, coloured in outline in all. Somewhat rubbed and with some restoration at the corners, light dampstain in the lower margin of vol. I, slightly heavier at the title page which has been reinforced with archival tissue, map of Paris shaved to the ruled border at the upper margin, a few minor splits and chips in the margins, but overall very good.