A decorative map of the British Isles exhibiting the early road network. Vaugondy’s ‘Atlas Universel’ was conceived in 1752, and produced by Gilles Robert de Vaugondy (1688-1766) and his son Didier (1723-86). This is an example of the first state of three according to Pedley, before ‘Bellfart’ was changed to ‘Bellfast’. The career of the de Vaugondy family is superbly laid out by Mary Sponberg Pedley in her book ‘Bel et Utile’. Little is known of Gilles’ education, but he signed his marriage document in 1719 as a ‘geographe’. In 1723 he witnessed a document as a ‘professeur en mathematiques’. In 1731 he was fortunate to receive one-third of the business of the Sanson family. It was enough to launch his career. By 1734 he was made ‘Geographe du Roi’. Despite the detail applied to its accuracy they also managed to produce beautifully designed cartouches as here. According to Pedley these ‘attracted unanimous praise from critics’. Provenance: acquired 1998. NMM 266; Nordenskiold 245; Phillips Atlases 619; Sabin (1868) 71863; Pedley (1992) 45 state 1.