Biographies of Some of the More Famous Cartographers
Lorenz Fries (c.1490-c.1531) was a physician, astrologer and geographer who is perhaps best-known to cartophiles for his re-working of Martin Waldeseemuller’s maps from Claudius Ptolemy’s “Geographia”.
Karrow suggests in his “Mapmakers Of The Sixteenth Century And Their Maps” that Fries had studied at Vienna, Montpellier, Piacenza and Pavia before working in Schlettstadt, Colmar, Fribourg and Strasbourg. Fries’ early publications were related to medicine and he experienced some success in this field. His publisher was Gruninger, in Strasbourg, who was also known to have worked in collaboration with Waldseemuller on the “Chronica Mundi”, a cosmography planned for publication. It seems likely that this small volume was to help form Fries’ considerable involvement with Waldseemuller maps.
The first of Waldsdeemuller’s map to receive a re-working by Fries, and also worked on by Peter Apian, was the “Tipus Orbis Universalis...” of 1520, which was based on Waldeseemuller’s 1507 map of the world.
At the same time as this world map was being published, Fries was also working on an edition of Ptolemy’s “Geographia”. The aforementioned “Chronica Mundi” did not reach publication, perhaps because of Waldseemuller’s death in 1518, and Gruninger, the publisher, decided instead to have Fries work on an edition of Ptolemy using the maps that might have otherwise been included in the “Chronica Mundi”. Thus, Fries’ first edition of Waldseemuller’s Ptolemy appeared in Strasbourg in 1522 – it was very similar to Waldseemuller’s own 1513 version although Fries’ maps were cut at a slightly reduced size. Three maps were new to this edition (although were based on Waldseemuller’s map of 1507); the world, South-East Asia and eastern Asia (showing China and Tartary). Fries’ woodblocks were used again in three subsequent editions of 1525, published in Strasbourg and edited by Willibald Pirkheimer, 1535, published in Lyons and edited by Michael Servetus, and 1541, also published in Lyons – a re-print of the 1535 edition.
Fries was also involved in a number of other publishing ventures including a description of an astrolabe, speculations about the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, an annual booklet of prognostications and a revision of Waldseemuller’s “Carta Marina” in multiple sheets.
Robert W. Karrow Jr., Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century and Their Maps, pp. 191-204.
Archibald Fullarton and Company was one of the leading publishers working in Glasgow, Scotland in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. One part of the company’s prolific output was a number of atlases, and books containing maps.
Fullarton’s popular gazetteer of England and Wales, “Fullarton’s Parliamentary Gazetteer Of England And Wales” illustrated with a series of finely engraved maps of the counties, is notable for the clarity of presentation, despite the limited size.
The atlas records the changes made in the Great Reform Bill, which set out the basis of Britain’s modern parliamentary constituencies. The gazetteer went through numbers of editions, with the maps revised and up-dated. Some of the maps were engraved for Fullarton by Robert Scott, who incorporated an attractive vignette views inside the map border.
Carl Von FLEMMING
Carl von Flemming (1806-1878) was the founder of the Carl Flemming publishing house. He was succeeded by his sons Carl Martin and Georg until the firm was sold to C. Dunnhaupt and H. Muller in 1888 and finally closed in 1932. The firm published works in both Berlin and Glogau and were responsible for a number of publications including several editions of Handtke’s “Schul-Atlas Der Neueren Erdbeschreibung” from 1840 onwards and “Handatlas Von Preuß. Staat”, amongst many others.
The Family and Companies FISHER
Fisher, Son & Co. were publishers based in London and Paris who flourished between the years 1825 and 1845. The firm was originally a family firm, headed by Henry fisher (d.1837) and began printing in Liverpool. They later moved to London and their work displayed a number of imprints at different stages including, Nuttal, Fisher & Co and Fisher and Jackson in the 1840s. They were also known as The Caxton Press. The Fisher’s were responsible for a large output of maps in an age when atlas production was again flourishing.
William Faden (1749-1836) was perhaps the leading English map-maker and publisher of his time.
Faden was not quite born into the map-trade as such, but his father, also William, was a Fleet Street printer. Having been apprenticed to the engraver James Wigley from 1764 the younger Faden really came to prominence when he joined the Thomas Jefferys family partnership after the death of Jefferys himself in 1771. Jefferys had been the leading publisher working in London at this time. He had earned a reputation for large-scale maps of the English counties and detailed maps of the British colonies abroad – maps from his “American Atla”s or “The West-India Atlas” remain highly sought-after today. In many cases Jefferys had acted, in an unofficial capacity, as map-maker to the various branches of the British Government, including the Colonial Office, and was Geographer to King George III. Consequently, his maps were often based on the most up-to-date and accurate survey work available, hence their great importance.
Following Jefferys’ death Faden continued the business, proving himself to be Jefferys’ equal as a map-maker, and more astute as a business man. Faden was appointed Geographer to George III in 1783, the same year that he was able to assume full control in the business as a result of his father’s will. Like Jefferys’ maps before, there was an official quality to Faden’s publishing achievements.
Faden made his name during the American War of Independence, when he published numbers of maps of the individual colonies, the general theatres of war, and plans of the major battles. Government departments were grateful recipients of Faden’s maps – they knew they would be accurate and up-to-date, based on the most recent surveys where available.
Faden is also known to have published the first Ordnance Survey map; this was of Kent, surveyed by Mudge and published by Faden in 1801.
An important contributor to cartographic heritage.
Elizabeth M Rodger, The Large Scale County Maps of the British Isles 1596-1850 A Union List, Introduction.
Laurence Worms, ‘William Faden’ in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Nicolas de FER
Nicolas de Fer (1646-1720) was the son of Antoine de Fer, also a map engraver and colourist in his own right who had worked with Nicolas Berey and acted as an editor for Pierre Duval’s “Cartes De Geographie ...” of 1657. However, it was Nicolas who was to become one of the most prolific publishers of his time.
Nicolas began his career with an apprenticeship to the engraver Louis Spirinx in Paris. It soon became clear that his interest lay in the production of current maps, recent discoveries and he was particularly interested in the topical production of military maps, with town plans and their fortifications an especial interest. De Fer’s first map was published in 1669 and was a rather unusual map of the Languedoc Canal with a phonetic title.
Antoine died in 1673 sharing his estate between his widow, Genevieve, and three sons. However, it wasn’t until 1687 when Nicolas’ mother offered the running of the family business to Nicolas, that he was really able to begin his career in earnest. Over the next few years De Fer was able to make the publishing business flourish and in 1690 he was nominated as geographer to the Dauphin – their relationship had reciprocal benefits with De Fer producing, in effect, royal propaganda concerning the Dauphin’s lands with each publication enhancing his own name and reputation, as well as that of the Dauphin. When the Duke of Anjou ascended the throne in 1702, De Fer had the dual title of “geographe du roi d’Espagne et du Dauphin”.
De Fer published a number of atlases including the “Cotes de France” of 1690 (containing Tassin’s maps) and the “Forces de l’Europe ou Introduction a la fortification”, also of 1690, that reinforced his abilities and success with the buying public. Subsequent publications included the “Petit et Nouveau Atlas”, which appeared in 1697, followed by the “Atlas Curieux”. The “Atlas Curieux” was well-known and popular, being expanded in successive editions between 1700 and 1705, and was re-edited in 1714 and 1716 under the title “Suite de l’Atlas Curieux”. De Fer also produced a number of folio maps that appeared in the “Atlas ou Recueil de cartes”, which was published in 1709.
After his death in 1720 De Fer’s property was divided between his sons-in-law Guillaume Danet, François Bénard and Rémi Richer
Mireille Pastoureau, Les Atlas Francais XVI-XVII Siecles, pp.167-169.
Rodney Shirley, Printed Maps of the British Isles 1650-1750, pp.57.
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.