Biographies of Some of the More Famous Cartographers
Pieter van der AA
Pieter Van Der Aa (1659-1733) was apprenticed to the booksellers’ trade at nine. He later became a bookseller and auctioneer, and in 1692 was appointed one of the High Commissioners of the Booksellers’ Guild.
Van Der Aa was a prolific publisher, working in Leiden during the first three decades of the eighteenth century. Much of his output consisted of re-issues and re-engravings of map and view plates that he had acquired from earlier mapmakers. Little of his output was original, though that which is has a very distinct style, precisely and elegantly engraved, and is much sought-after today.
Perhaps his most remarkable publication was the elaborate Galerie Agreable Du Monde, issued in 1729, in 66 parts, bound into 27 volumes, which contained about 3,000 plates, apparently limited to 100 sets. Another of his extensive publications was the Cartes Des Itineraires Et Voyages Modernes, a collection of 28 volumes of travel accounts, illustrated with a series of small, but finely engraved maps, often with decorative pictorial title-pieces.
An interesting feature of Van Der Aa’s method is that several of his atlases include maps printed within large, separately engraved, elaborately designed mock-frame borders, which were prepared with a blank centre so that individual maps could be over-printed on that area.
Despite the quantity and variety of Van Der Aa’s publications they seem to have had only a limited circulation, and so are now scarce.
Aaron & John ARROWSMITH
Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) was one of the most important map publishers of the nineteenth century who gained international repute. His move from County Durham to London and his subsequent training under possibly William Faden and certainly John Cary stood him in good stead. Arrowsmith provided the measurements for John Cary’s early publication detailing the roads from London to Falmouth. According to R.V.Tooley in The Map Collector 9 , he is also said to have taken the measurements for John Cary’s county maps.
By 1790 Arrowsmith was able to set up his own business and this flourished throughout the early years of the nineteenth century. One of his first productions in his own premises was the Chart of the World upon Mercator’s Projection. This large map on multiple sheets typifies the types of publications for which Arrowsmith was perhaps best renowned, however, this particular publication, based on the astronomical observations taken during the voyages of Capitain Cook, is now extremely rare. The publication success of this map secured Arrowsmith’s reputation and he was appointed Hydrographer to King William IV. The success can perhaps be attributed to the precise, accurate and clear style in which the map was executed.
Arrowsmith’s mapmaking skills were repeated in his maps of Southern India on eighteen sheets, his Chart of the Pacific Ocean on nine sheets and his three sheet map of America. The re-issue of each of these maps (often multiple re-issues over a number of years) testifies to their popularity and success. Each re-issue would have brought the map up-to-date with the latest discoveries and findings.
Arrowsmith is also known for his involvement in a number of atlas publications including a New General Atlas in 1817, an Atlas of South India in 1822 and an Ancient Geography in 1828. He was also responsible for the maps in Hansard’s Parliamentary Paper as well as the journal of the Royal Geographical Society.
Aaron was succeeded by his sons Aaron Jr. and Samuel, who published the portrait of Aaron, aged 72. In turn, they were succeeded by John Arrowsmith (1790-1873), their cousin. John’s main output was the folio The London Atlas, first published in 1842. This atlas is remarkable for the care and attention he put into revising, correcting and up-dating the maps therein. Good examples are his maps of Australia and Africa, and their parts, which were continually improved as information became available. These maps were among the most valuable cartographic reflections of the continuous, and continuing, exploration and settlement of these far-flung frontiers.
John Andrews (1736-1809) and Andrew Dury were surveyors, working in the latter half of the eighteenth century, who specialised in large scale maps of the areas around London and Windsor. As well as their important, large-scale map of Kent on 25 sheets of 1769 with editions by various publishers thereafter, they are also known for a large-scale map of Hertfordshire that was published on 9 sheets in 1766 and in 1773 Andrews engraved (and published with Dury) an 18 sheet map of the county of Wiltshire. The 25 sheet map of Kent was the most detailed map of the county to be published prior to the Ordnance Survey.
Andrews also produced a number of town plans in conjunction with Matthew Wren – St Albans, Hartford and Canterbury – and other maps of the British Isles.
Andrews mapping further afield included the 1777 “A New Map Of The British Colonies In North America” and the 1787 “Chart Of New Holland”, among many other items.
Huych (or Hugo) Allard (1625-1691) was an engraver and the founder of the Allard publishing business in Amsterdam. He was succeeded in the business by his son Carel (1648-c.1706) and by Carel’s sons in turn – Hugo the younger and Abraham.
Although the so-called "Golden Age" of Dutch cartography appears to have been dominated by the activities of the Blaeu family and of the Hondius/Jansson partnership, numerous other mapmakers, engravers and publishers continued to ply their trades successfully in Amsterdam. Among these Huych Allard's work, from about 1640 to around 1680 stands comparison with any other. Allard's output was relatively small with maps being published as loose separate issues, rather than atlas collections, however, his maps are well designed, finely engraved and rare. Huych’s maps included the world, the East Indies, New York, New England and Leo Belgicus among others. Perhaps one of his most remarkable maps is that of Guinea (West Africa), engraved by Baptista Van Doetecum. No examples of the first state of this map are known to exist. Drawn by Portuguese cartographer, Luis Teixeira, the map is believed to have been produced to accompany Pieter De Marees' account of his travels in the region first published in 1602 by Cornelis Claesz. The handful of copies of this second state which are known are identified by the addition of the imprint of publisher Hugo Allard.
Carel took over the business from his father in 1691 and he published a number of atlases by Janssonius and De Wit among others, but he was also responsible for a number of original works. These original works are often decorative in style and were based on up-to-date knowledge. Works included Totius Neobelgii Nova Et Accuratissima Tabula (c.1674) and Orbis Sive Americae Septentrionalis ... (1690). Carel also issued a number of composite atlases comprising his own and others’ maps as the Atlas Major or Atlas Minor, however, the maps are relatively scarce.
I.C.Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici Volume I, pp.31-48.
Giovanni Battista ALBRIZZI
Although Venice had been the centre of the European map-trade in the 1550s, its importance had been subsequently eclipsed by Antwerp and then Amsterdam in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. So it was from Amsterdam that Giovanni Battista (Giovambattista) Albrizzi, the Italian, took inspiration for his best-known atlas - the Nieuwe En Beknopte Handatlas ... by Isaak Tirion was translated into Italian and published in Venice by Albrizzi. Albrizzi was also responsible for publishing an edition of Guillaume De L'Isle's atlas as Atlante Novissimo.
Further information about many of these cartographers may be found in the volumes of Tooley's Dictionary - an invaluable addition to any map collection or single item.