Copper engraving, 23 x 34.5 cm, modern hand colour, blank verso.
Map of Hispaniola or San Domingo (modern Haiti and the Dominican Republic), but also showing the southeast tip of Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the 18th century the island was divided between the Spanish and French colonial powers. Our example of the map was published in a Geneva edition of Guillaume Thomas Raynal’s ‘Atlas de Toutes Parties Connues du Globe Terrestre…’, which accompanied Raynal’s fiercely anti-colonial ‘Histoire des deux Indes’.
Raynal’s work was a great success, but the third revised edition of 1780 – for which the atlas was compiled – was banned in Bourbon France (it was burnt by the public executioner in May 1781) and Raynal himself was forced into exile. In context, a Geneva imprint makes a great deal of sense; there were numerous editions, but Rumsey notes that Bonne’s name was dropped from individual maps in the Geneva edition of 1783-84. Bonne held a royal appointment, having succeeded Bellin as chief hydrographic engineer of the ‘Dépôt des cartes, plans et journaux du Ministère de la Marine’.