Copper engraving, 21 x 31.5 cm, modern hand colour, blank verso. Map of the northern region of South America.
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; Bonne himself held a royal appointment, having succeeded Bellin as chief hydrographic engineer of the “Dépôt des cartes, plans et journaux du Ministère de la Marine”.