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. nd Whittle.
Carte hydro-geo-graphique des Indes Orientales..
This map (16 1/16" X 11 9/16") was originally designed as
part of a much larger map by the same name.
To fit in the in quarto format of Lattré's "Atlas Moderne",
the map was separated in four equal size segments:
- I: present day Pakistan, North India, Nepal, Bangladesh,..
- II: present day Maldives, South India, Sri Lanka,.
- III: (this item as shown at the bottom of the map: IIIe
feuille) South East China, Formosa, Laos, North Vietnam, North
Philippines,. with the cartouche of the whole set of maps.
- IV: East Thailand, Cambodia, South Vietnam, South Philippines,
The Atlas is known to have been issued in 1771, 1783 and 1793.
Notice in the cartouche that Bonne is introduced merely as
a "master of mathematics", he will become Hydrographer to
the King in 1772, after which he will modify his title in
the two later editions.
Good depiction of the mainland coastline, and of the major
islands of Hainan, Taiwan and Luzon.
Upper right corner text explains that the latitudes scale
is variable, with increasing distances when moving north (see
diagram along the right side).This type of projection is seldom
Notice also the arrows indicating the dominant winds.
No text on verso.