Rigobert Bonne; 1729-1793.
Bonne, a trained mathematician, was appointed Hydrographer
to the King. He took over the responsibility of the french
hydrographic institute ("Dépôt de la Marine") after the death
of Bellin in 1772. This position enabled Bonne to the unequaled
access to prime mapping data, which he could use successfully
for his own private business interests.
He followed in the steps of the french school of cartographic
minutiae and geographic accuracy. As such he produced, often
in collaboration with other mapmakers, a large number of excellent
His name is generally associated with a type of equal area
projection he often used after 1757.
Of note, his participation (with Janvier and Rizzi-Zannoni)
to Jean Lattré's 1762 "Atlas Moderne". But he is most well
known for the wealth of maps he prepared for Guillaume Thomas
François Raynal's "Atlas de toutes les parties connues du
globe terrestre" (1780), and also for Nicolas Desmaret*'s"Atlas
Encyclopédique" (1787, re-issued in 1827).
* Desmaret: of engineering fame for the first recorded design
of a tunnel between France and England in 1751.
Isle de la Martinique. Isles de la Guadeloupe, de Marie
Galante, de la Desirade, et celles des Saintes.
This large double map (13 5/8" X 9 3/8") was published in
the 1762 "Atlas Moderne".
It describes with a same scale the two main french possessions
in the lesser Antilles. Coast lines, river courses, mountains
ranges, all are shown with great precision.
Notice how the settlements are denser on the west shore of
both islands, probably due to the rougher seas experienced
on the ocean side than on the Caribbean sea side. Notice also
how most defenses are on the same side: forts (Ft.), redoubts
(redoute), and gun emplacements (batterie) to prevent enemy
attack or easy landing.
On Martinique, the capital of St. Pierre is clearly indicated.
To the south, the town of Fort Royal is even more prominent.
Renamed Fort de France in 1801, it will become the capital
after the 1902 destruction of St Pierre by the volcano Montagne
On Guadeloupe (named Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Extremadura
by Colombus in 1493), the capital of Basse Terre is also shown
on the island of same name. While today's largest town of
Pointe a Pitre, on the west coast of Grande Terre, is not
Notice that longitudes are given west of either Hierro island
(top) or Paris (bottom).
No text on verso.