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Chapter 13


It would be hard to imagine a more inauspicious period for a nation's cultural development than the years between 1520 and 1600 in the Low Countries. Under the harsh domination of the Spanish Emperors, facing fanatical religious persecution and the threat of the Inquisition, the constant presence of foreign troops and even the destruction of some of their cities, the Dutch, nevertheless, in 1581 contrived to break their subservience to Spain and form their own federation. Belgium, being mainly Catholic, remained within the orbit of the Empire though henceforward was recognized as a separate state. In such circumstances there would seem to have been little chance for growth of a national entity in the small Northern Provinces but, on the contrary, under the leadership of Amsterdam, their banking and commercial enterprise soon dominated Europe. The attempt by Philip II to eliminate their control of European coastal trade by the use of Portuguese craft inspired the Dutch, first, to seek a North East passage to India and Asia and then, failing that, to challenge Spanish and Portuguese power directly, not only in European waters but also in the East, and eventually to eclipse it. English attempts to gain a foothold in the Indies were bitterly opposed and the English turned their attention to India where only a handful of Dutch settlements existed.

In spite of the turmoil arising out of these events, first Antwerp and then Amsterdam became centres of the arts and their cartographers, engravers and printers produced magnificent maps and charts of every kind which many claim have never been surpassed. Later in this chapter an account is given of Gerard Mercator, who studied at Louvain under Gemma Frisius, the Dutch astronomer and mathematician, and later moved to Duisburg in the Rhineland where most of his major work was carried Out. There he produced globes, maps of Europe, the British Isles and the famous World Map using his newly invented method of projection, all of which were widely copied by most of the cartographers of the day. The first part of his Atlas - the word chosen by Mercator to describe a collection of maps - was published in 1585, the second in 1589, and the third in 1595, a year after his death.

Other great names of the time were Abraham Ortelius, native of Antwerp, famous for his world atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, issued in 1570; Waghenaer, noted for his sea atlases of 1584 and 1592, Gerard de Jode and Jodocus and Henricus Hondius, followed in the next century by W. J. Blaeu and his sons and Jan Jansson. The Blaeu and Jansson establishments were noted mainly for land atlases but their sea atlases and pilot books were also published in numerous editions which went some way to meeting the rising demand for aids to navigation in European and Mediterranean waters. Their productions were challenged by other, smaller publishers specializing in such works, Jacob Colom, Anthonie Jacobsz, Pieter Goos, Hendrick Doncker, to mention a few, and, later, the charts issued by the van Keulen family and their descendants covered practically all the seas of the known world. As we reach the second half of the seventeenth century the details of publication of these sea atlases and pilot books become more and more interwoven and complicated. Not infrequently the same charts were issued under the imprint of different publishers; at death the engraved plates were sold or passed to their successors and were re-issued, with minor alterations and often without acknowledgement to the originator, all of which adds to problems of identification. Although, in this period, charts of every kind must have been issued in great quantity, good copies are now hard to find.

By about the year 1700 Dutch sea power and influence was waning and although their pilot books and charts remained much in demand for many years to come, leadership in the production of land atlases passed into the hands of the more scientific French cartographers who, in their turn, dominated the map trade for most of the following century.

Plate: ABRAHAM ORTELIUS Islandia Antwerp 1585. A famous map of Iceland compiled from original work by Gudbrandur Thorlaksson.


Before leaving this chapter it is worth noting a famous series of maps known as Leo Belgicus, or the Lion of Belgium, which was started in 1583 by Michael Aitzinger, an Austrian nobleman who had studied at the universities of Vienna and Louvain. He travelled extensively in Europe for about thirty years before settling in Cologne where he published a book describing the Low Countries which contained the first 'Leo Belgicus' and a further 112 plates engraved by Frans Hogenberg. The area covered was extensive, including the whole of today's Netherlands and Belgium.

The idea of a map in the shape of a lion was very appealing and was copied by many other cartographers, including Jan van Doetecum, C. J. Visscher, P. van den Keere and Rombout van den Hoeye. Variants on the original were issued as late as 1807 and three distinct types are found: the Aitsinger form with the lion standing facing right with the right paw raised; the Cornelius Jansson form of 1611 with the lion sitting facing left, and the 'Leo Hollandicus', showing only the area of Holland, which was first published between 1608 and 1625.

All of these maps are rare and generally expensive; the 'commonest' is probably the one which was first issued by Famiano Strada, a Jesuit, at Rome in 1632 This appeared as the title page to a history of the Low Countries which proved very popular, many editions (in various formats) being published at Antwerp, Rome, Amsterdam and Lyon amongst other places .

The authors have seen a number of fakes of these maps produced mainly by photo-lithography using old paper, which are very deceptive. Some are not of the correct size and may quickly be dismissed as not genuine by reference to the excellent illustrated paper by R. V. Tooley in the Map Collector's Circle Series No. 7 of 1964. Collectors should beware of buying rare maps of this type other than from recognized dealers.



Of German extraction, Gemma Frisius became the foremost astronomer, mathematician and surveyor of his time. He was an influential figure, not Only for his teaching of Mercator at his School of Geography at Louvain but for his scientific contributions to practical aspects of cartography. He invented an improved form of cross-staff for astronomical use and in his book A Method of delineating places he set out the principle of triangulation in map making. Later, he was the first to suggest the use. of portable clocks to determine longitude.

  • 1533 Published A Method of delineating places
  • 1545 World Map on heart-shaped projection, included in an enlarged edition of Peter Apian's Cosmographicus liber (1524) edited by Frisius


Geographer to Charles V and Philip II.

  • 1540-60 Map of Holland and large-scale maps of the Dutch provinces


  • 1543 Caerte van Oostlandt Woodcut map of Scandinavia on 9 sheets known only from re-issues in Antwerp, Rome (1558) and Venice (1562): subsequently used by Mercator and Ortelius
  • 1544 Plan of Amsterdam: 12 sheets


ARNOLD MERCATOR (son) 1537-87

RUMOLD MERCATOR (son) c. 1645-c. 99


GERARD MERCATOR (grandson) c. 1565-1656

JOANNES MERCATOR (grandson) c. 1562-95

MICHAEL MERCATOR (grandson) c. 1567-1600

For nearly sixty years, during the most important and exciting period in the story of modern map making, Gerard Mercator was the supreme cartographer, his name, second only to Ptolemy, synonymous with the form of map projection still in use today. Although not the inventor of this type of projection he was the first to apply it to navigational charts in such a form that compass bearings could be plotted on charts in straight lines, thereby providing seamen with a solution to an age-old problem of navigation at sea. His influence transformed land surveying and his researches and calculations led him to break away from Ptolemy's conception of the size and outline of the Continents, drastically reducing the longitudinal length of Europe and Asia and altering the shape of the Old World as visualized in the early sixteenth century.

Plate: ABRAHAM ORTELIUS Islandia Antwerp 1583. A famous map of Iceland compiled from original work by Gudbrandur Thorlaksson.

Plate: CORNELIS DE JODE Totius Orbis Cogniti Universalis Descriptio~ This rare World Map dated 1589 was engraved and signed by Gerard de Jode prior to his death in 1591. It was included in his son's Atlas published in 1593.

Plate: GERARD MERCATOR &eptel:rionahum Terrarum Descriptia. Map of the North Pole which is shown as a rocky 'island' with four rivers around it. This was the first map to be devoted specifically to the Arctic, published in Amsterdam in 1595 (this being a later issue).

Mercator was born in Rupelmonde in Flanders and studied in Louvain under Gemma Frisius, Dutch writer, astronomer and mathematician. He established himself there as a cartographer and instrument and globe maker, and when he was twenty-five drew and engraved his first map (of Palestine) and went on to produce a map of Flanders (1540) supervising the surveying and completing the drafting and engraving himself. The excellence of his work brought him the patronage of Charles V for whom he constructed a globe, but in spite of his favour with the Emperor he was caught up in the persecution of Lutheran protestants and charged with heresy, fortunately without serious consequences. No doubt the fear of further persecution influenced his move in 1552 to Duisburg, where he continued the production of maps, globes and instruments culminating in large-scale maps of Europe (1554), the British Isles (1564) and the famous World Map on 18 sheets drawn to his new projection (1569). All these early maps are exceedingly rare, some being known by only one copy.

In later life he devoted himself to his edition of the maps in Ptolemy's Geographia, reproduced in his own engraving as nearly as possible in their original form, and to the preparation of his 3-volume collection of maps to which, for the first time, the word 'Atlas' was applied. The word was chosen, he wrote, 'to honour the Titan, Atlas, King of Mauritania, a learned philosopher, mathematiciar, and astronomer' . The first two parts of the Atlas were published in 1585 and 1589 and the third, with the first two making a complete edition, in 1595 the year after Mercator's death.

Mercator's sons and grandsons, named above, were all cartographers and made their contributions in various ways to the great atlas. Rumold, in particular, was responsible for the complete edition in 1595. After a second complete edition in 1602, the map plates were bought in 1604 by Jodocus Hondius who, with his sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, published enlarged editions which dominated the map market for the following twenty to thirty years.

  • 1578 Ptolemy's Geographia: 27 maps 1584, 1600, 1618-19, 1695, 1698, 1704, 1730 Re-issued (details of these issues are shown in Appendix A)
  • 1585 Atlas Part 1 Duisburg: Latin text 51 maps: Holland, Belgium, Germany
  • 1589 Atlas Part II: Duisburg: Latin text 23 maps: Italy, Greece and Central Europe
  • 1595 Atlas Part III: Duisburg: Latin text 36 maps: The World, the Continents, British Isles, Northern Europe, Russia 1595 Re-issued as a complete Atlas with 111 maps 1602 Re-issued

Mercator/Hondius/Jansson Atlas

Below is a very brief summary of the various editions of Mercator's Atlas by Jodocus and Henricus Hondius and Jan Jansson, issued with text in Latin, Dutch, French, German and Spanish. Apart from the main editions quoted, there were many variants too numerous to show here.

  • 1606-19 Jodocus Hondius. Hondius died in 1612 but editions bearing his name were published by his widow and sons, Jocodus II and Henricus, until 1619 1607, 1609, 1611, 1613, 1619 Re-issued
  • 1623-33 Henricus Hondius 1628, 1630, 1631, 1633 Re-issued by Henricus alone
  • 1630-41 Henricus Hondius and Jan Jansson In 1629-30, after the death of Jodocus II, the plates of about 40 maps were sold to W. J. Blaeu who used them in his Atlantis Appendix (1630). To meet this competition, replacement plates were engraved from which maps were issued by Jansson, also in 1630, in an Atlantis Maioris Appendix. By 1633 new editions of the Mercator Atlas were in production and continued until 1641, some in the joint names of Hondius and Jansson, some in separate names.
  • 1636-38 English editions - title Atlas or Geographicke Description of the Regions, Countries and Kingdoms of the World
  • 1638-66 Atlas Novus (Jan Jansson) At this stage the Mercator Atlas was developed by Jansson under the title Atlas Novus, starting with 2 volumes in 1638 and passing through many editions and enlargements until its later editions formed the basis of the Atlas Major published during the i6~os to rival Blaeu's Atlas Maior. 1638, 1639, 1641, 1642, 1644, 1645, 1646, 1647, 1649, 1650, 1652, 1656, 1657, 1658, 1659, 1666 - editions in Latin, Dutch, French, German and Spanish

Atlas Minor

The editions of the Atlas Minor, summarized below, were issued in the main European languages, including English. There were many variants to these editions which are not included here.

  • 1607 Jodocus Hondius and Jan Jansson the Elder (average size 170-190 X 210-230 mm) Maps engraved by Jodocus Hondius and published in co-Operation with Jan J ansson the Elder, bookseller and publisher, the father of the better-known cartographer of the same name, whose work on the Atlas Minor began with the 1628 edition.1608, 1609, 1610 Re-issued
  • 1612 Jodocus Hondius II and Jan Jansson the Elder (average size 170-190 X 210-230 mm)1613, 1614, 1620, 1621 Re-issued
  • 1625 William Stansby: London Maps included in Purchas His Pilgrimes by Samuel Purchas. Maps printed from the1607 plates
  • 1628 Jan Jansson Maps newly engraved by Pieter van den Keere and Abraham Goos (Average Size 180-190 X 230 X 245 mm) 1628, 1630(2), 1631, 1634(2), 1648, 1651 Re-issued
  • 1630 Johannis Cloppenburgh Maps re-engraved in slightly larger format (average size 210-220 X 270-280 mm) 1632, 1636 Re-issued
  • 1635 Thomas Cotes/W. Saltonstall: London Issued as Historia Mundi with English text: maps printed from the 1607 plates 1637, 1639 Re-issued
  • 1673 Jansson's Heirs: Janssonius van Waesbergen: no text 1676 Re-issued
  • 1734 Henri du Sauzet 1738 Re-issued

GERARD DE JODE c. 1509-91

CORNELIS DE JODE (son) 1568-1600 Gerard de Jode, born in Nijmegen, was a cartographer, engraver, printer and publisher in Antwerp, issuing maps from 1555 more or less in the same period as Ortelius. He was never able to offer very serious competition to his more businesslike rival although, ironically, he published Ortelius's famous 8-sheet World Map in 1564. His major atlas, now extremely rare, could not be published until 1578, eight years after the Theatrum, Ortelius having obtained a monopoly for that period. The enlarged re-issue by his son in 1593 is more frequently found. On the death of Cornelis, the copper plates passed to J. B. Vrients (who bought the Ortelius plates about the same time) and apparently no further issue of the atlas was published: however, at least one further issue of the Polar Map, c.1618, is known.

Gerard de Jode

  • 1555 World Map by Gastaldi
  • 1564 World Map by Ortelius (8 sheets)
  • 1578 Speculum Orbis Terrarum 1593 Re-issued by Cornelis de Jode as Speculum Orbis Terrae (112 maps)

Cornelis de Jode

  • 1589 WorldMap
  • 1592 Gallia Occidentalis
  • c. 1595 The 4 Continents
  • c. 1598 Belgium


Abraham Ortel, better known as Ortelius, was born in Antwerp and after studying Greek, Latin and mathematics set up business there with his sister, as a book dealer and 'painter of maps'. Travelling widely, especially to the great book fairs, his business prospered and he established contacts with the literati in many lands. On one such visit to England, possibly seeking temporary refuge from religious persecution, he met William Camden whom he is said to have encouraged in the production of the Britannia.

A turning-point in his career was reached in 1564 with the publication of a World Map in eight sheets of which only one copy is known: other individual maps followed and then - at the suggestion of a friend - he gathered together a collection of maps from contacts among European cartographers and had them engraved in uniform size and issued in 1570 as the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Atlas of the Whole World). Although Lafreri and others in Italy had published collections of 'modern' maps in book form in earlier years, the Theatrum was the first uniformly sized, systematic collection of maps and hence can be called the first atlas, although that term itself was not used until twenty years later by Mercator.

The Theatrum, with most of its maps elegantly engraved by Frans Hogenberg, was an instant success and appeared in numerous editions in different languages including addenda issued from time to time incorporating the latest contemporary knowledge and discoveries. The final edition appeared in 1612. Unlike many of his contemporaries Ortelius noted his sources of information and in the first edition acknowledgement was made to eighty-seven different cartographers.

Apart from the modern maps in his major atlas, Ortelius himself compiled a series of historical maps known as the Parergon Theatri which appeared from 1579 onwards, sometimes as a separate publication and sometimes incorporated in the Theatrum.

Plate: ABRAHAM ORTELIUS Descripho Germaniae Inferioris Antwcrp (1570) c. I598. This very elegant map by Ortelius covered a wide area, admittedly somewhat distorted, including Holland, Belgium and parts of France, Germany and Luxembourg.

  • 1570 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum 1570-1612 Between these years the Theatrum was re-issued in 42 editions with 5 supplements with text in Latin, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Italian and English. The English edition was published in 1606 by John Norton, the maps being printed in Antwerp and the text added in London. Three years after Ortelius died in 1598, his heirs transferred publication rights to Jan Baptiste Vrients who produced the later editions until he died in 1612
  • 1577-85 Spiegel der Werelt (8vo) Maps from the Theatrum, reduced in size, engraved by Philip Galle: text by Pieter Heyns. 6 editions with Dutch, French and Latin text. 1588-i 603 Epitome theatri orbis terrarum (12mo/8v0) 11 further editions of the smaller maps with an increasing number of maps with text also in Italian and English (1603). i6oi-i 2 7 further editions with improved engravings by Arsenius Brothers: text by Michel Coignet in Latin, French, German, Italian and English (1603). 1598-1724 Theatro del Mondo (4t0/12mo/24mo) 8 editions with Italian text; plates engraved in Italy.
  • 1579-1606 Parergon Theatri The number of maps included in the Parergon increased from 4 in 1579 to 43 in 1606 with text in Latin, French, Italian, German and English (1606) 1624 Re-issued in Antwerp as a separate publication by Balthasar Moretus. This edition included a reproduction of the Peutinger table.



  • 1584 Theatrum terrae sanctae: 12 maps Maps of the Holy Land much copied by later cartographers.
  • c. 1590-1680 Numerous re-issues



By the third quarter of the sixteenth century an ever increasing volume of the wealth of the New World and the Indies was reaching Lisbon and the Spanish ports, there to be trans-shipped to Northern and Western Europe. This trade was almost entirely in the hands of the Dutch so it was logical that one of their pilots should produce the first set of effective navigational charts. These were compiled under the title Spiegel der Zeevaerdt, by Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, a native of Enkhuizen on the Zuider Zee, an experienced seaman and pilot. His magnificently produced charts embodying all the latest contemporary knowledge of navigation and position-finding set a standard which was followed by others for the next century or more -indeed, some of the symbols employed are still in use today. The charts in the first edition, covering the coast lines from Holland to Spain and the North Sea and Baltic, were engraved by the van Doetecum brothers and printed by Plantin: those in the English edition, which was translated by Sir Anthony Ashley and issued in 1588 - the year of the Armada - were engraved by de Bry, Hondius, Rutlinger and Ryther, who also engraved some of Saxton's maps. The charts are extremely picturesque with elaborate cartouches, ships in full sail and the sea monsters so commonly used as decoration in maps of the period. Place names are given on the coasts but comparatively few are shown inland; cliffs on the coastline are drawn in elevation; navigational landmarks and hazards, anchorages, soundings and tidal details are indicated and the scale is shown in English, Spanish and Dutch leagues. Altogether some of the most handsome maps ever produced.

The charts became so universally popular that their name, anglicized to 'Waggoner', came into use in English as a generic term for sea charts of all kinds.

Spiegel der Zeevaerdi

Charts engraved by Baptist and Jan van Doetecum

DATE................PUBLISHED BY................... No. OF CHARTS ....................... TEXT

1584 .................. Plantin, Leyden .................................. 23....................................Dutch

1585....................Plantin, Leyden .................................. 44................................... Dutch

1585....................Plantin, Leyden....................................44....................................Dutch

1586....................Plantin, Leyden....................................45.....................................Latin

1588....................Plantin, Leyden....................................47.....................................Dutch

1588....................A Ashley, London..a...........................45.....................................English

1589..................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam...............47......................................German

1589-90..............Cornelis Claesa, Amsterdam................47......................................Dutch

 Plate: WILLEM JANSZOON BLAEU Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula. The famous world map on Mercator's projection, first published in Amsterdam in 1606 and in the Blaeu atlases from 1630 onwards. This map is one of the masterpieces of Dutch cartographic engraving and was eventually superseded by the hemispherical map of 1662.

Spiegel der Zeevaerdi (contd.)

DATE.................PUBLISHED BY.........................No. OF CHARTS......................TEXT

1590..................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam...............47.........................................French

1591.....................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam............47.........................................Latin

1590.................JeanBellere, Antwerp.........................47..........................................French

1591..................Jean Bellere, Antwerp........................47...........................................Latin

1615.............Johann Walschaert, Amsterdam..b....47...........................................German

a. Issued in London as The Mariner's Mirroar: charts engraved by Theodore de Bry, Jodocus Hondius, Joh. Rutlinger and Augustine Ryther.

b. Based on 1589 German edition.

Thresoor der Zeevaerdt


1592.................Plantin, Leyden..a.................................22.........................................Dutch

1596.................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam ................24........................................Dutch

1601............... Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam ................27........................................French

1602.................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam..b.............28....................................... Dutch

1606.................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam.................28........................................French

1608..................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam ................28........................................Dutch

1609...................Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam .c.............31........................................Dutch

a. Plates in the first 3 editions engraved by Jan van Doetecum .

b. Plates re-engraved by Benjamin Wright and Joshua van den Ende.

c. Re-issued as Nieuwe Thresoor der Zeevaerdt.

Den nieuwen spiegel der Zeevaerdt

DATE............PUBLISHED BY..............................NO. OF CHARTS.....................TEXT

1596...............Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam...................49.........................................Dutch

1597 ..............Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam...................49.........................................Dutch

1600......Cornelis Claesz and Jean Bellere, .........Amsterdam/Antwerp...................49.........................................French

1605...............Cornelis Claesz and Jean Bellere, ........Amsterdam/Antwerp....................49.........................................French

1601......Jodocus Hondius, Amsterdam...a.............47...............................Dutch/English

a. Reprint of 44 plates used in The Mariner's Mirrour (1588) plus 3 new charts.


JODOCUS HONDIUS (son) 1594-1629

HENRICUS HONDIUS (son) 1587-1638

Jodocus Hondius, one of the most notable engravers of his time, is known for his work in association with many of the cartographers and publishers prominent at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century.

A native of Flanders, he grew up in Ghent, apprenticed as an instrument and globe maker and map engraver. In 1584, to escape the religious troubles sweeping the Low Countries at that time, he fled to London where he spent some years before finally settling in Amsterdam about 1593. In the London period he came into contact with the leading scientists and geographers of the day and engraved maps in The Mariner's Mirrour, the English edition of Waghenaer's Sea Atlas, as well as others with Pieter van den Keere, his brother-in-law. No doubt his temporary exile in London stood him in good stead, earning him an international reputation, for it could have been no accident that Speed chose Hondius to engrave the plates for the maps in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in the years between 1605 and 1610.

In 1604 Hondius bought the plates of Mercator's Atlas which, in spite of its excellence, had not competed successfully with the continuing demand for the Ortelius Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. To meet this competition Hondius added about 40 maps to Mercator's original number and from 1 6o6 published enlarged editions in many languages, still under

Mercator's name but with his own name as publisher. These atlases have become known as the Mercator/Hondius series. The following year the maps were reengraved in miniature form and issued as a pocket Atlas Minor. After the death of Jodocus Hondius the Elder in 1612, work on the two atlases, folio and miniature, was carried on by his widow and sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, and eventually in conjunction with Jan Jansson in Amsterdam. In all, from 1606 onwards, nearly 50 editions with increasing numbers of maps with texts in the main European languages were printed. Summaries of these issues are given under the entry for Gerard Mercator.

Jodocus Hondius the Elder

  • 1588 Maps in The Mariner's Mirrour (Waghenaer/Ashley)
  • 1590 World Map in two hemispheres illustrating Drake's circumnavigation
  • c. 1591-92 Hiberniae novissima descrzptio: Boazio's map of Ireland: Engraved by Pieter van den Keere
  • 1595 Europe (wall map): with Pieter van den Keere
  • 1598 World and the Continents
  • 1599 Maps for Caert Thresoor (Langenesi Cornelis Claesz), with Pieter van den Keere
  • 1602-03 - 12 English County maps for William Smith ('anonymous maps')
  • 1605 Ptolemy's Geographia (Mercator) 1618-19 Re-issued


  • 1605-10 Maps for The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (Speed)
  • 1606 World Atlas (Mercator/Hondius series) (see under 'Gerard Mercator' for further detail)
  • 1607 Atlas Minor (Mercator/Hondius series) (see under 'Gerard Mercator' for further detail)
  • 1608 World Map on Mercator's projection

Jodocus Hondius II

  • 1612-21 (Mercator) Atlas Minor 5 editions published in co-operation with Jan Jansson the Elder (see under Gerard Mercator (Atlas Minor) for further detail)
  • 1613 Map of Scandinavia
  • 1616 View of London (Cl. J. Visscher)
  • 1616 Tabularum geographicarum (Petrus Bertius) Miniature world atlas (8vo): edition (with new maps) of the Caert Thresoor published in 1598-99 1618 Re-issued in Latin and French
  • 1617-18 World Map: double hemisphere The first map to show Tierra del Fuego as an island as a result of the discoveries made on the Schouten/Le Maire voyage of 1615-17.
  • c. 1624 World Map on Mercator's projection
  • 1629 Atlas (without title or text) 42 maps, mostly by Hondius, not included in the Mercator/Hondius editions

Henricus Hondius

  • (1606) Mercator's Atlas (Mercator/Hondius/Jansson) 1613, 1619 Editions published by the widow of Jodocus Hondius the Elder, and Jodocus II and Henricus. 1623-335 editions published by Henricus alone. 1633-41 5 editions in conjunction with Jan Jansson (for further detail see entry under Gerard Mercator)


Plancius was a theologian and minister of the Dutch Reformed Church who fled with many of his compatriots from religious persecution in Flanders to settle in Amsterdam in 1585. There he became interested in navigation and cartography and, being fortunate enough to have access to nautical charts recently brought from Portugal, he was soon recognized as an expert on the shipping routes to India. He was interested, too, in the idea of a North East passage until the failure of Willem Barentsz's third voyage in 1597 seemed to preclude the possibility of such a route. In 1602 he was appointed cartographer to the new Dutch East India Company.

Although Plancius produced no atlases his individual maps and charts, over 100 in all, exercised much influence on the work of other cartographers at the turn of the century. His very large wall map of the world dated 1592 was of particular significance.

  • 1590 World Map: issued in an edition of the Bible by Plancius 1592, 1596, 1604, 1607 Re-issued
  • 1592 World Map: wall map in 18 sheets 1600 (Arnoldo di Arnoldi) c.1640, 1669 (Pietro Petrucci) (Re-issued in Siena)
  • 1594 World Map: twin hemisphere 1607 Re-issue by Pieter van den Keere
  • 1596 World and other maps in Linschoten's Itinerano and subsequent editions  


Pieter van den Keere was one of a number of refugees who fled from religious persecution in the Low Countries between the years 1570 and 1 590. He moved to London in 1584 with his sister who married Jodocus Hondius, also a refugee there, and through Hondius he undoubtedly learned his skills as an engraver and cartographer. In the course of a long working life he engraved a large number of individual maps for prominent cartographers of the day but he also produced an Atlas of the Netherlands (1617-22) and county maps of the British Isles which have become known as Miniature Speeds, a misnomer which calls for some explanation.

In about 1599 he engraved plates for 44 maps of the English and Welsh counties, the regions of Scotland and the Irish provinces. The English maps were based on Saxton, the Scottish on Ortelius and the Irish on the famous map by Boazio. These maps were not published at once in book form but there is evidence which suggests a date of issue (in Amsterdam) between 1605 and 1610 although at least one authority believes they existed only in proof form until 1617 when Willem Blaeu issued them with a Latin edition of Camden's Britannia. At this stage two maps were added, one of the British Isles and the other of Yorkshire, the latter derived from Saxton. To confuse things further the title page of this edition is signed 'Guilielmus noster Janssonius', which is the Latinized form of Blaeu's name commonly used up to 1619.

At some time after this the plates came into the possession of Speed's publishers, George Humble, who in 1627, the year in which he published a major edition of Speed's Atlas, also issued the Keere maps as a pocket edition. For these he used the descriptive texts of the larger Speed maps and thereafter they were known as Miniature Speeds. In fact, of the 63 maps in the Atlas, 40 were from the original van den Keere plates, reworked, 16 were reduced from Speed and 7 were additional. The publication was very popular and there were further re-issues up to 1676.

  • c. 1591-92 Hiberniae novissima descriptio: Boazio's map of Ireland, published by Jodocus Hondius
  • 1593 Maps for Speculum Britanniae (John Norden)
  • 1595 Charts for Willem Barentsz Nieuwe beschryvinghe ende Caertboeck van de Midlandtsche Zee
  • 1595 Europe: wall map (Jodocus Hondius)
  • 1599 Maps in Caert Thresoor (Langenes/Cornelis Claesz)
  • c. 1600-10 Maps for a miniature County Atlas of the British Isles: 44 maps probably issued in Amsterdam (no text) 1617 Re-issued in Amsterdam by W. J. Blaeu to accompany a Latin edition of Camden's Britannia: 46 maps (44 with Latin text) 1627 England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland described and abridged from a farr Larger Woloume done by John Speed 1631-76 Various re-issues (For further detail see entry under John Speed.)
  • 1607 World Map: twin hemisphere based on Plancius (1594)
  • 1608 Charts in Licht der Zeevaerdt (W. J. Blaeu)
  • 1614 Americae Nova Descripio Map of the American Continent with decorative borders of portraits and town views 1618 and later Re-issued
  • 1617 Germania Inferior (Netherlands): Latin text, edited by Petrus Montanus 1622 (Latin), 1622 (French) Re-issued
  • 1620 Maps in Licht der Zeevaerdt (Jan Jansson)
  • 1628 Maps in Atlas Minor (Jan Jansson)


Barentsz was a noted pilot who was convinced by the theorists of the day that it was possible to reach China and India via a North East passage through the Arctic. On his first voyage in 1594 accompanied by Jan van Linschoten he reached Novaya Zemlya but was forced back by ice: he failed again the following year. On his third voyage in 1596-97 his ship was trapped in pack ice and, although many of his crew survived in open boats, Barentsz himself died on the return voyage. He is noted for this chart book of the Mediterranean, the first of its kind, which was complementary to Waghenaer's charts of the Atlantic coasts, and which is sometimes found bound up with the later editions of Waghenaer.

  • 1595 Nieuwe beschryvinghe ende Caertboek van de Midlandtsche Zee: 10 charts engraved by Pieter van den Keere 1599, 1608 (Dutch) Re-issued 1599, 1607, 1627 Re-issued with French text as Description de Ia Mer Mediterranee by Guillaume Bernard (Willem Barentsz)
  • 1596-97 Charts of Ireland and Norway contained in Waghenaer's Nieuwe Spiegel der Zeevaerdt


Van Linschoten, born in Haarlem, is heard of in the service of the Portuguese Archbishop of Goa where he spent five years between 1583 and 1588. On his return to Holland he produced a History of his travels, important for the inclusion of maps from Portuguese sources, at that time rarely available to Dutch - or any other - cartographers. The maps (including a world map by Petrus Plancius) engraved by van Langren, are highly decorative with large cartouches, the arms of Portugal, compass roses, rhumb lines and sea monsters. Some are illustrated with views of prominent places or islands.

  • 1596 Itinerano: 4 parts: 12 maps: Dutch text: Amsterdam (published by Cornelis Claesz) 1598 (English), 1599 (Latin), 1605, 1614, 1623, 1644 (Dutch), 1610, 1619, 1638 (French) Re-issued with 15 maps


Vrients was the map engraver and publisher in Antwerp who, after the death of Ortelius in 1598, acquired the publication rights of the Theatrum. Between 1601 and 1612 he issued a number of editions which included some of his own maps and he was responsible for printing the maps for the English edition in 1606. He also published a number of important individual maps and a small atlas of the Netherlands.

  • 1596 Orbis Terrae Compendiosa descriptio Double hemisphere world map with inset charts of the heavens
  • c. 1602 Germania Inftrior 19 maps of the Netherlands from the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum


Little is known of Wytfliet except that he was a native of Brabant, but there is no doubt about the importance of his only atlas, which was the first one printed to deal exclusively with America. Although its title indicated it to be a 'supplement to Ptolemy', Part 1 covered the history of the discovery of America and its geography and natural history and Part II consisted entirely of contemporary maps of America and a world map based on Mercator.

  • 1597 Descriptionis Ptolemaicae augmentum: Louvain: Latin text: 19 maps 1598-1615 Further editions printed in Louvain, Douai and Arnhem with Latin and French text: the French editions published under the title Histoire Universelle des Indes Occidentales et Orientales with 4 additional maps of China, Japan and the Far East
  • 1598 Maps re-engraved and issued in Cologne by J. Christoffel to accompany a Description of America by Jose' Acosta.

BARENT LANGENES fl. 1598-1610

Langenes was a publisher in Middelburg about whom little is known except that he was probably the author of the text and publisher of the first edition of a very well known miniature atlas, the Caert Thresoor. After an uneasy start - some maps were missing from the first edition - the atlas acquired new life in Amsterdam with a re-written text and eventually with re-engraved maps which prolonged its use and popularity for about half a century.

  • 1598 Caert Thresoor (Miniature World Atlas) (8vo, approx. 85 x 120 mm) Maps engraved by Jodocus Hondius and Pieter van den Keere 1599 Re-issued by Cornelis Claesz: Amsterdam (Dutch) 1600-02 do (French) 1600 Re-issued by Cornelis Claesz and Jan Jansson the Elder with Latin text by Petrus Bertius 1603 do (Latin) 1606 Re-issued by Cornelis Claesz (Latin) 1609 Re-issue with revised 1598 text (Dutch) 1612 Re-issue of 1600 edition in German 1616 P. Bertii: Tabularum geographicarum contractarum: re-issue by Jodocus Hondius II with newly engraved, slightly larger maps (approx. 90 x 130 mm) 1618 Re-issue of 1616 edition in Latin and French 1639 Re-issue by J. Blaeu (12mo) 1649 Re-issue of first edition by C. J.Visscher 1650 Petri Bertii: Beschreibung der Gan~en Welt: Re-issue by Jan Jansson of 1612 edition


Petrus Bertius grew up in Beveren in Flanders and as a young man travelled widely in Europe. In company with so many of his compatriots he moved to Amsterdam as a refugee from religious persecution and after completing his studies there he was appointed a professor of mathematics and librarian at Leyden University. As well as being a prolific writer on mathematical, historical and theological subjects he is known as a cartographer for his editions of Ptolemy's Geographia (based on Mercator's edition of 1578) and for the miniature atlases detailed below. In i6i8 he moved to Paris and became Official Cosmographer to Louis XIII. He was related by marriage to Jodocus Hondius and Pieter van den Keere.

  • 1600 Tabularum geographicarum contractarum (Miniature World Atlas) (8vo) Latin text This was a re-issue of the Caert Thresoor (1598) by Barent Langenes (see under Barent Langenes for detail of other editions).
  • 1618-19 Ptolemy's Geographia (Theatrum Geographiae Veteris) Edition containing 28 maps engraved by Mercator for his edition of 1578 plus 14 maps from Ortelius' Parergon: published by Jodocus Hondius II (See also Appendix A.)


JOAN BLAEU (son) 1596-1673

CORNELIS BLAEU (son) d. c. 1642

We have already written that at the beginning of the seventeenth century Amsterdam was becoming one of the wealthiest trading cities in Europe, the base of the Dutch East India Company and a centre of banking and the diamond trade, its people noted for their intellectual skills and splendid craftsmanship.

At this propitious time in the history of the Northern Provinces, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, who was born at Alkmaar in 1571 and trained in astronomy and the sciences by Tycho Brahe, the celebrated Danish astronomer, founded a business in Amsterdam in 1599 as a globe and instrument maker. It was not long before the business expanded, publishing maps, topographical works and books of sea charts as well as constructing globes. His most notable early work was a map of Holland (1604), a fine World Map (1605-06) and Het Licht der Zeevaerdt (The Light of Navigation), a marine atlas, which went through many editions in different languages and under a variety of titles. At the same time Blaeu was planning a major atlas intended to include the most up-to-date maps of the whole of the known world but progress on so vast a project was slow and not until he bought between 30 and 40 plates of the Mercator Atlas from Jodocus Hondius II to add to his own collection was he able to publish, in 1630, a 60-map volume with the title Atlantis Appendix. It was another five years before the first two volumes of his planned world atlas, Atlas Novus or the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum were issued. About this time he was appointed Hydrographer to the East India Company.

In 1638 Blaeu died and the business passed into the hands of his sons, Joan and Cornelis, who continued and expanded their father's ambitious plans. After the death of Cornelis, Joan directed the work alone and the whole series of 6 volumes was eventually completed about 1655. As soon as it was finished he began the preparation of the even larger work, the Atlas Major, which reached publication in 1662 in II volumes (later editions in 9-12 volumes) and contained nearly 6oo double-page maps and 3,000 pages of text. This was, and indeed remains, the most magnificent work of its kind ever produced; perhaps its geographical content was not as up-to-date or as accurate as its author could have wished, but any deficiencies in that direction were more than compensated for by the fine engraving and colouring, the elaborate cartouches and pictorial and heraldic detail and especially the splendid calligraphy.

In 1672 a disastrous fire destroyed Blaeu's printing house in the Gravenstraat and a year afterwards Joan Blaeu died. The firm's surviving stocks of plates and maps were gradually dispersed, some of the plates being bought by F. de Wit and Schenk and Valck, before final closure in about 1695.

It ought to be mentioned here that there is often confusion between the elder Blaeu and his rival Jan J ansson (Johannes Janssonius). Up to about 1619 Blaeu often signed his works Guilielmus Janssonius or Willems Jans Zoon but after that time he seems to have decided on Guilielmus or G. Blaeu.

Apart from the atlases and principal maps listed below, the Blaeu family issued a large number of separate sheet maps, too numerous to list individually.

  • 1604 Map of Holland
  • 1605 Map of Spain
  • 1605-06 World Map and the Continents issued separately without text
  • 1608 The Continents (Wall Map)
  • 1168 Het Licht der Zeevaerdt: 42 charts 1608-30 Re-issued in 9 editions (Dutch) 1612-22 Issued as The Lght of Navgation (English) 1619-2 Issued as Flambeau de Ia Navigation (French) (See under Jan Jansson for editions by him.)
  • 1617 William Camden's Britannia: abridged version with 46 miniature maps engraved by Pieter van den Keere: Latin text 1639 Re-issue with 22 maps from Petrus Bertius' Tabularum geographicarum contractarum: no text
  • 1617 Maps of the Continents subsequently included in the Atlantis Appendix and the later Atlases
  • 1623 Der Zeespiegel: III charts 1623-52 10 re-issues (Dutch) 1625-40 3 re-issues as The Sea Mirrour (English) 1643-53 2 re-issues as The Sea Beacon (English) 1655-66 Issued in enlarged form as De Groote Zeespiegel
  • 1630 Atlantis Appendix: 6o maps: no text
  • 1631 Appendix - Theatri A . Ortehi et Atlantis G. Mercatori 2 editions in same year: 98-99 maps: Latin text
  • 1635 - 55 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum sive Atlas Novus The following is a brief summary of the main editions of which there are many variants: 1635-50 Vols land II: editions with text in Latin, Dutch, French and German 1640-50 Vol.111 do Volumes 1 II and III covered maps of all parts of the world, except the Far East, the arrangement contents varying greatly in different editions. 1645-48 Vol. IV England and Wales (County Maps) (See Appendix B for further details.) 1654 Vol. V Scotland and Ireland (County Maps): Latin, Dutch, French and German text1655 Vol. VI Atlas Sinensis: maps of China and Japan by Martino Martini: Latin, Dutch, French and German text
  • 1648 Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula: World Map on 20 sheets
  • 1649-51 Toonneel der Steden van de Vereenighde Nederianden (Town Books of the Netherlands): 3 Latin, 3 Dutch editions with 220-26 town plans
  • 1662-72 Atlas Maior (Grand Atlas) 1662 Latin text: II volumes 1663 French text: 12 volumes 1667 Re-issued 1664 Dutch text: 9 volumes 1667 German text: 9 volumes 1672 Spanish text: 10 volumes Printed between 1658 and 1672 but never completed owing to loss of plates in the fire of 1672. Some volumes made up with Spanish text pasted over sheets in other languages. Note: The number of volumes of the Atlas Major varied in different editions and therefore the number of maps varied also but the contents of the French edition give a general indication of the arrangement: Vol. I Northern Europe, Norway, Denmark Vol. II Eastern Europe, Russia, Poland, Sweden and Greece Vol. III Germany Vol. IV The Netherlands Vol. V England Vol. VI Scotland and Ireland Vol. VII France and Vol. VIII Switzerland Vol. IX Italy Vol. X Spain, Africa Vol. XI Asia Vol. XII America
  • 1663-I 726 Town Books of Italy Between 1663 and 1726 many editions with varying contents, text in Dutch, French and Latin, were published by J. Blaeu and his heirs (Amsterdam), A. Moetjeus (The Hague), P. Mortier (Amsterdam) and R. C. Alberts (The Hague).

Plate: CLAES JANSz. VI5SCHER Daniae Regni Typum. Published in Amsterdam in 1630, this is a fine example of the maps by the Visscher family.


Jan Janszoon, a bookseller and publisher working in Arnhem, was responsible for issues of a number of important atlases. His publishing interests brought him and his son, the noted Jan Jansson, into touch with the Hondius family, an association which lasted for something like forty years.

  • 1607-21 Atlas Minor (Mercator/Hondius) 7 editions
  • 1615 LeMiroirduMonde(Z. Heyns)
  • 1615 Discriphonis Prolemaicae augmentum (C. Wytfliet)
  • 1617 Ptolemy's Geographia (Magini)


Engraver, cartographer, publisher active in Leyden, Amhem and Amsterdam in the early years of the seventeenth century. His maps, though few in number, were particularly elegant.

  • 1610 World Map
  • 1617-18 World Map: published by Jan Jansson 1632 Re-issued
  • 1618 Switzerland: maps of Swiss Alpine regions 1630, 1645 Re-issued

Plate: LEO BELGICUS The Low Countries An example of the numerous maps printed in this form; the above, one of the finest, was issued bv Claes Jansz. Visseher in Amsterdam in 1630


Gerritsz was apprenticed to W. J. Blaeu as an engraver before starting in business on his own account. He worked closely with Petrus Plancius and his merit may be judged by the fact that he was appointed Cartographer to the Dutch East India Company in preference to Blaeu and subsequently held the same position in a newly formed West India Company. With the new company he came into touch with Johannes de

Laet for whom he prepared a number of new maps of America in the latter's Nieuwe Wereldt published in 1625. His most important early work was a chart showing Henry Hudson's discoveries in his voyage of 1610-11: it is the first to give an outline of Hudson's Bay and indicates Hudson's belief that he had found a way to the North West Passage.

  • 1612 Chart based on Henry Hudson's discoveries
  • 1625-40 Maps in J. de Laet's Nieuwe Wereldt
  • 1627-28 Charts of the South Seas showing the first discoveries in Australia (Eendracht's Land)

Plate: JAN JANSSON Norfolk. A county map first published in Jansson's German Appendix to the Mercator/Hondius Atlas, 1638.

JAN JANSSON 1588-1664

Johannes Janssonius, more commonly known to us as Jan Jansson, was born in Arnhem where his father was a bookseller and publisher (Jan Janszoon the Elder). In 1612 he married the daughter of the cartographer and publisher Jodocus Hondius, and then set up in business in Amsterdam as a book publisher. In 1616 he published his first maps of France and Italy and from then onwards he produced a very large number of maps, perhaps not quite rivalling those of the Blaeu family but running a very close second in quantity and quality. From about 1630 to 1638 he was in partnership with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius, issuing further editions of the Mercator/Hondius atlases to which his name was added. On the death of Henricus he took over the business, expanding the atlas still further, until eventually he published an 11-volume Atlas Major on a scale similar to Blaeu's Atlas Major.

The first full edition of Jansson's English County Maps was published in 1646 but some years earlier he issued a number of British maps in the Mercator/Hondius/J ansson series of atlases (1636-44); the maps were printed from newly engraved plates and are different from the later 1646 issue and are now rarely seen (see Appendix B for further details). In general appearance Jansson's maps are very similar to those of Blaeu and, in fact, were often copied from them, but they tend to be more flamboyant and, some think, more decorative.

After Jansson's death his heirs published a number of maps in an Atlas Contractus in 1666 and later still many of the plates of his British maps were acquired by Pieter Schenk and Gerard Valck, who published them again in 1683 as separate maps.

  • 1616 Maps of France and Italy
  • 1620-37 Het Licht der Zeevaerdt Charts copied from W. J. Blaeu's marine atlas of the same title issued in 1608. 1620-34 Dutch: I620-25 English: 1620-37 French editions 1650 Le nouveau Flambeau de Ia Mer: re-issue of the same charts with revised text
  • 1626 Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis: decorative World Map based on earlier map by D. E. Lons 1632 Re-issued
  • 1628 Atlas Minor (Mercator/Hondius/Jansson series) Continuing the miniature atlas first issued by Jodocus Hondius and Jan Jansson the Elder in 1607: the maps were newly engraved by Pieter van den Keere and Abraham Goos: average size 180-190 x 230-245 mm (for further detail see under Gerard Mercator). 1628-51 9 editions in Latin, French, German and Dutch
  • 1630 Atlantis Majoris Appendix: 80 maps
  • 1631-32-36 Theatrum Universal Galliae, Theatrum Impeni Germanici Theatrum Italiae In an attempt to break away from their reliance on Mercator's maps, Henricus Hondius and Jansson issued the above atlas in 3 parts, using entirely new maps, but the experiment met with little success and few copies were issued: the maps, therefore, are now extremely rare.
  • 1633 Atlas (Mercator/Hondius/Jansson series) 1633-41 In this period Jansson, in conjunction with Henricus Hondius, republished the series of Mercator atlases, first reprinted in 1606 by Jodocus Hondius. Apart from the English edition of 1636, there were editions in Latin, Dutch, French and German. From about 1638 under Jansson's direction the work developed into the Atlas Novus (see below)
  • 1638 Atlas Novus (Nieuwen Atlas) 1638-66 Starting with an issue of 2 volumes in 1638, the atlas eventually expanded through many editions to 6 volumes (Vol. IV Great Britain 1646), (Vol. V Sea Atlas 1650). Finally, during the period 1650-60, the contents of the 6 volumes were used as the basis of a new Atlas Major (see Appendix B for further detail of Volume IV, Great Britain).
  • 1647-62 Atlas Major: Dutch, 9 vols 1647-62 German: II vols 1658-66 Latin: 9 vols 1680-83 English: 4 volsThis English edition was started by Moses Pitt in association with Janssonius van Waesbergen but van Waesbergen died in 1681 and Pitt's hopes of issuing it complete were frustrated by financial difliculties.
  • 1650 Petrus Bertius: Beschreibung der Gan~en Welt re-issue of the 1612 edition of the Caert Thresoor (Langenes)
  • 1651 De Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel 1654 Re-issue in English as The Lighting Colomne or Sea Mirrour Both editions copied without alteration from the plates used by Pieter Goos/Anthonie Jacobsz
  • 1652-57 Theatrum Praecipuarum Urbium A series of plans of the principal cities and towns of Europe - about 500 in all in 8 volumes - which Jansson based on Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the plates of which he acquired after the death of Abraham Hogenberg. Each volume bears a different title, depending on the area covered. The work was re-issued by Jansson's heirs in 1682, in abridged form.
  • 1652 Accuratissima orbis Antiqui Delineatio (Atlas of the Antique World) 1653,1654, 1660 Re-issued 1677, 1684, 1700 (English) Re-issued by Janssonius van Waesbergen and his successors 1740, 1741 (French): 1741 (English) Reissued by P. de Hondt
  • 1666 Atlas Contractus: 2 volumes (published by Jansson's heirs)


The voyage of Schouten/Le Maire in the years 1615-17 was one of the most important in the seventeenth century; they were the first to sail round Cape Horn (named after their home town Hoorn in Holland), disproving the long held theory that Tierra del Fuego r L'Ardante ou Flamboyante Colomne de Ia was part of a southern continent.

Subsequent accounts of the voyage, with maps, were L Colom de la Mer Mediterannee published by Schouten (1618) and Le Maire (posthumously, 1662)


Barlaeus was an historian and theologian who compiled a small number of maps for historical works of his time. His maps of Brazil were particularly important and were used by Joan Blaeu.

  • 1622 Descripcion de la Indias Occidentales (Antonio de Herrera): 17 maps
  • 1647 Rerum in Brasilia Gestarum Historia: 3 maps


  • 1625 Nienwe Wereldt (small folio): maps of theNew World including a number by HesselGerritsz

1630 (Dutch), 1633 (Latin), 1640 (French) editions


An engraver and publisher active in Antwerp who produced a small number of maps including one of the British Isles based on an earlier map by N. Visscher.

  • 1629-46 British Isles
  • 1636 Tabula Geo~raphicarum Belgicae Liber (Maps of the Low Countries)

1644, 1652 Re-issued

  • 1636-56 Maps of the World, Germany, Italy, France and Spain


ARNOLD COLOM (son) c. 1624-68

Jacob Colom was a printer, bookseller, chart and globe maker who set out to challenge the virtual monopoly held by W. J. Blaeu, then the only chart maker in Amsterdam. His Pilot Guide De Vyerighe Colom published in various formats and languages (with exotic tides) to meet the demands of the time was highly successful and forced Blaeu to revise and enlarge his existing chart books. In spite of Blaeu's efforts, Colom's Guide remained popular with seamen for many years and although the charts were issued in great quantity, they are now extremely rare.

  • 1632-71 De Vyrighe Colom 13 editions with Dutch text L'Ardante ou Flamboyante Colomne de Ia MerColom de la Mer Mediteranne 9 editions with French text The Fierie Łea Columne The New Fierie Sea Columne True and Perfect Fierie Colom 12 editions with English text Parts 1, II and III issued in the above 34 editions in different sizes: folio, large folio and oblong. There were also editions in English (1648) and Dutch (1662) with the title Upright Fyrie Colomne
  • 1663-69 Atlas of Werelts-water-deel (Sea Atlas) Various editions with numbers of maps increasing from 23 to 52: texts in Dutch, French, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish

Arnold Colom

  • 1654-58 Zee Atlas ofte Water-wereldt Three editions with 16-18 maps: text in Latin or Dutch
  • 1660-61 Lighting Colom of the Midland See English text: 19 maps of the Mediterranean


NICOLAES VISSCHER 1 (son) 1618-79

NICOLAES VISSCHER II (grandson) 1649-1702

ELIZABETH VISSCHER (widow of N. Visscher II) d. 1726

For nearly a century the members of the Visscher family were important art dealers and map publishers in Amsterdam. The founder of the business, C. J. Visscher, had premises near to those of Pieter van den Keere and Jodocus Hondius whose pupil he may have been. From about 1620 he designed a number of individual maps, including one of the British Isles, but his first atlas consisted of maps printed from plates bought from van den Keere and issued as they stood with some additions of his own, including historical scenes of battles and sieges for which he had a high reputation. Some maps bear the latinized form of the family name: Piscator. After Visscher's death his son and grandson, both of the same name, issued a considerable number of atlases, constantly revised and brought up to date but most of them lacking an index and with varying contents. The widow of Nicholaes Visscher II carried on the business until it finally passed into the hands of Pieter Schenk.

Plate: JOAN BLAEU Dorset. A typical county map from Volume 4 of Blaeu's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, first published in Amsterdam in 1645

Claes Jansz. Visscher

  • 1634 Belgium sive Germania inferior: 43 maps 1637, c. 1645 Re-issued with additional maps
  • 1649 Tahularum Geographicarum contractarum Re-issue of the Caert Thresoor by Langenes (1598)

Nicolacs Visscher 1

  • 1656-79 Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum Several editions with varying contents
  • c.1677 Germania Inferior: 52 maps Maps by the Visschers, Jansson, Blaeu and others

Nicolaes Visscher II

  • c.1684 Germania Inferior: 21 maps c.
  • 1683-98 Atlas Minor In spite of its name this was a full-scale atlas in folio size. Several editions with numbers of maps varying from about 6o to 150.

Elizabeth Visscher

  • c.1702-16 Atlas Minor 6 editions with numbers of maps varying from 50 to 1 50, many bearing her name
  • c. 1702 Atlas Major: 2 volumes: 200 maps Enlarged edition of the Atlas Minor

PETRUS MONTANUS (Pieter van den Berg) ft. 1606

A Dutch geographer, active in Amsterdam, who worked in association with his brother-in-law, J odocus Hondius, for whom he prepared the text of the Mercator/Hondius Atlas (1606 and later editions). The map noted below, attributed to Montanus, is the first separately printed one of Maryland; known as 'Lord Baltimore's Map' it was published by him to attract settlers to the colony.

  • 1635 Nova Terrae-Mariae Tabula (Maryland) Published in A Relation of Maryland by Lord Baltimore, London



Anthonie Jacobsz founded a printing and publishing business in Amsterdam in which he specialized in the production of pilot books and sea atlases. As he died at a comparatively early age most of the numerous editions of his works appeared after his death published by his sons, Jacob and Caspar, who took the name 'Lootsman' (sea pilot) to distinguish them from another printer of the name Jacobsz.

Following Blaeu and Colom, Anthonie Jacobsz was the most important compiler of sea charts in Amsterdam in the first half of the seventeenth century. In his new ZeeSpiegel issued in 1643 he increased the number of charts normally included in these books and enlarged them to folio size, which evidently proved popular. Editions in many forms appeared until 1715 and they were copied or reprinted by Pieter Goos, Hendrick Doncker and Jan Jansson, sometimes in competition with each other but usually in cooperation with the Lootsman brothers.

  • c. 1643- De Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel
  • 1717 Nieuw en Groote Lootsmans Zee-Spiegel Parts 1 and II Dutch text: about 23 editions under these and other titles 1666-97 Le Grand et Nouveau Mirrour ou Flambeau de Ia Mer French text: 9 editions 1649-92 The Lightning Colomne - or Sea Mirrour English text: 10 editions The number of charts in all these editions vaned from about 33 to 70 depending on whether Parts 1 and II were issued together or separately.
  • 1648-1704 't Nieuw Groot Straets-boeck Part III of the Zee-Spiegel - the Mediterranean Dutch text: 9 editions: 14-20 charts 1659-79 Le Nouveau grand livre de l'Etroit French text: 4 editions: 20-21 charts 1678-c. 1703 Lightning Colom of the Midland Sea English text: 6 editions: 20-22 charts
  • 1652-54 't Nieuwe en Vergroote Zee-boeck Pilot guide in reduced format 3 editions with 80-87 charts: average size 300 X 380 mm with a small number about 300 X 540 mm (folded)
  • 1666-94 Nieuwe Water-warelt ofte Zee Atlas (The Sea Atlas of the Water World) L'Atlas de la Mer ou Monde Aquatique 4 Dutch, 8 English, 1 French edition: 22 to about 40 charts
  • 1692-1701 The English Coasting Pilot 3 editions: 14-15 charts: 455 x z8o mm

ABRAHAM GOOS fl. 1614-43

PIETER GOOS (son) c. 161 5 -75

Abraham Goos was a noted engraver in Amsterdam who prepared plates for many maps published in well-known atlases of his time including Speed's A Prospect ofthe Most Famous Parts of the World (1627) and the 1632 edition of Speed's Atlas. He was related to the Hondius family by whom he was also employed as an engraver. In 1616 he issued a book of maps, the Nieuw Nederlandtsh Caertboeck (4to) which was re-issued in 1619 and 1625.

His son, Pieter, continued and extended his father's business and became one of the group of well-known engravers of sea charts active in Amsterdam in the middle years of the seventeenth century. In common with Colom, Doncker and Jacobsz he published a pilot guide, the Zee-Spiegel, basing it on plates obtained from Jacobsz. This went through many editions in different languages under the startling titles so popular at the time. In addition to publishing his Zee-Spiegel in the usual Parts 1 and II (Europe and Atlantic coasts) and Part III (Mediterranean) he broke new ground in preparing Parts IV and V, covering charts and sailing directions for the coasts of the West Indies and West Africa. The later editions of the Zee Atlas were published by his widow who eventually sold the publishing rights of the Atlas and of the Zee-Spiegel to Jacobus Robijn.

  • 1650-85 De Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel De Nieuwe Groote Zee-Spiegel The Lightning Colomne or Sea Mirrour Lightning Co/om of the Midland Sea Legrand & Nouveau Miroir ou Flambeau de la MerParts I, II and III issued in manv editions in Dutch, English and French 1675 Part V: West Indies and American seaboard: 33 charts compiled by Arent Roggeveen for his Het Brandende Ween (The Burning Fen) Part 1 c. 1685 Part IV: Atlantic Coasts of Africa: charts by Arent Roggeveen for Part II of the above work. Published by J. Robijn
  • 1666-83 De Zee Atlas ofte Water- Weereld 41-44 maps in about 11 editions1666-73 L'Atlas de Ia Mer ou Monde Aquatique 5 editions 1667-70 Sea Atlas or the Water World 5 editions 1668-76 El Atlas de la Mar 0 Mundo de Agua 2 editions


De Wit was one of the most prominent and successful map engravers and publishers in Amsterdam in the period following the decline of the Blaeu and Jansson establishments, from which he acquired many copper plates when they were dispersed at auction. His output covered most aspects of map making: sea charts, world atlases, an atlas of the Netherlands, 'town books' covering plans of towns and cities in the Netherlands and Europe, and wall maps. His work, notable for the beauty of the engraving and colouring, was very popular and editions were issued many years after his death by Pieter Mortier and Covens and Mortier.

  • c. 1654 (with Th. Jacobsz) Zee Atlas: 16 charts by de Wit and Jacobsz
  • c. 1670- Atlas or Atlas sive descriptio Terrarum Orbis c.
  • 1707 or Atlas Maior Between these years, many editions of these atlases were published, the smallest with 17 maps, the largest under the title Atlas Maior with about 1 8o: some included the charts from the Zee Atlas (below). c. 1706-08 Re-issued in London by Christopher Browne as Atlas Maior (1706) and Atlas Minor (1708) c. 1710 Re-issued bv Pieter Mortier as Atlas Maior c.1725 Re-issued by Covens and Mortier as Atlas Maior
  • c. 1675 Orbis Maritimus ofte Zee Atlas or Atlas tabulae maritimae ofte Zee Kaarten: 27 charts c.1680 Re-issued
  • c. 1680-90 Germania Inferior Maps of the Netherlands in various editions
  • c. 1694 -1700Theatrum praecipuarum totius Europae urbium About 132 plans of European towns based on those of Jan Jansson
  • c. 1698 (Theatrum ichnographicum (Town Book of the Netherlands About 128 plans based on those of Blaeu, Jansson and others

GEORG HORN 1620-70

  • 1652 Accuratissima orbis antiqui delineatio Maps of the ancient world 1660-1740 Re-issued 1741 English edition - A Compleat Body of Ancient Geography  


HENDRICK DONCKER II (son) c. 1664-c. 1739 For about fifty years Hendrick Doncker ran a flourishing business in Amsterdam as a bookseller and publisher of sea atlases and textbooks on navigation. In a period when so many maps and charts were simply copied from other publishers, Doncker's charts were his own work and were noted for their accuracy and constant improvement. Apart from this work, he cooperated for many years with Pieter Goos and Anthonie Jacobsz in producing a pilot guide De Zeespiegel. Eventually his stock was sold to Johannes van Keulen.

  • 1655 De Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel 65 charts: the same as those issued by Goos and Jacobsz 1664-81 Nieuw Groot Stuurmans Zee-Spiegel A number of editions containing about 64 new charts by Doncker 1682-93 De Nieuwe Wermeerderde Stuurmans Zee-Spiegel A number of editions with new title and charts
  • 1659-72 De Zee-Atlas of Water- Waereld The Sea Atlas of the Water World L'Atlas de Mer La Atlas del Mundo 0 El Mundo aguado Numerous editions, being enlarged from 19 to 50 maps: text in Dutch, French, English and Spanish
  • 1675-1705 De Nieuwe Groote Vermeederde Zee-Atlas Editions in Dutch, French and English with 50-70 enlarged charts
  • 1685 Nieuw Nederlandtsch Caertboeck 22 maps taken from atlas of the same name by Abraham Goos (1616)
  • c. 1700 (H. Doncker II) Atlas of the River Don 17 maps by Cornelis Cruys


A bookseller and publisher in Rotterdam, whose charts and maps were largely based on those of his father-in-law, Jacob Aertsz. Colom. His Nieuwe Zee-Atlas of 1660 was an important assembly of sea charts including many of South East Asia and Australia.

  • 1660 Nieuwe Zee-Atlas (A New Sea Atlas) 1660 (Dutch and Spanish), 1661 (English), 1682 (Dutch) Re-issued
  • 1662 A new shining light or discovery of the Northermost and Westermost Waters (Pilot Guide)
  • 1691 Provinces of the Netherlands

JAN VAN LOON fl. c. 1649-86

Van Loon was a mathematician and engraver who contributed charts and maps to various pilot books and sea atlases by Jacobsz, Jan Jansson, Johannes J anssonius van Waesbergen and Robijn. In 1661he published a sea atlas which was popular until the end of the century.

  • 1661-1706 Klaer-Lichtende Noort-Star ofte Zee-Atlas i66i Issued with 35 charts 1666, 1668, 1676, 1706 Issued by Janssonius van Waesbergen with 47-50 charts


Van Waesbergen, established as a bookseller in Amsterdam, acquired by inheritance from his father-in-law Jan Jansson many of Jansson's plates including those of the Atlas Minor, the Civitates Orbis Terrarum and the Atlas of the Antique World. These works were republished by him, or after his death in 1681 by his son, also named Johannes. For a time he was associated with Moses Pitt in the abortive attempt in 1680-81 to publish an English version of the major atlases by Blaeu and Jansson.

  • 1666 Atlas Contractus (Jan Jansson's Heirs)
  • 1673-I 676 Atlas Minor
  • 1677-1684 Accuratissima Orbis Antiqui Delineatio (Atlas of the Antique World) 1700 English edition
  • 1682 Tooneel der Vermaarste Koop-steden (Town Books) Re-issue in abridged form of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Braun and Hogenberg) with many plates re-engraved

JACOB VAN MEURS c. 1620-80

Publisher, active in Amsterdam, who produced De Nieuwe en Onbekende Wereld for Arnold Montanus, which was used by John Ogilby as the basis of his Complete History of America.

  • 1670-71 De Nieuwe en Onbekende Wereld
  • c. 1677 Maps of Syria and Palestine by Dr O. Dapper


Published a notable Atlas of America which was used by John Ogilby as the basis for his An Accurate Description and Complete History of America. The maps were extremely decorative and included a view of New Amsterdam as it appeared soon after its foundation.

  • 1670-71 De Nieuwe en Onbekende Wereld: Amsterdam, published by Jacob van Meurs Maps of America including Virginia and New England, Central America and the Caribbean 1673 German issue by Dr O. Dapper (1636-89) 1729 Re-issued by Pieter van der Aa 1761 Re-issued by Covens and Mortier

HUGH (HUYCH) ALLARDft. c. 1645-91 CAREL ALLARD (son) 1648-1709

ABRAHAM ALLARD (grandson) d. c. 1730

The Allard family ran an active publishing business in Amsterdam in the latter half of the seventeenth century. Most of their publications consisted of atlases made up of maps and town plans by their more famous predecessors, Blaeu, Jansson, de Wit, Visscher and others, but one of their most attractive and interesting sheet maps was of New England (Hugo Allard, 1656), based on Jansson, which included a view of New Amsterdam by C. J. Visscher.

  • 1673 New and Exact Map of All New Netherland 1675 and later re-issues
  • 1697 Atlas Minor (folio) Re-issued by Covens and Mortier
  • c. 1698 Orbis Habitabilis oppida: town plans with costumed figures
  • 1705 Atlas Major: 3 volumes: about 520 maps of various sizes
  • c. 1706 Magnum Theatrum Belli: maps and plans of forts and fortified cities

Plate: FREDERICK DE WIT Insula Malta. De Wit produced a very large number of maps and charts of every part of the world as well as town plans. This map of Malta with inset of Valletta was published in Amsterdam about 1680.


Roggeveen was a land surveyor and mathematician by profrssion, working in Middelburg where the Dutch East and West India Companies maintained collections of hydrographic manuscripts and charts, including Spanish portulans of the West Indies. No doubt through contacts there Roggeveen became interested in navigation and he compiled a pilot book of largescale charts of the West Indies and parts of the American coasts, with a second volume of the coasts of West Africa. These were the first such charts printed in Holland.

  • 1675 Het Brandende Veen (The Burning Fen) Part 1 West Indies and the American seaboard 33 charts published by Pieter Goos in English, French and Spanish as Part IV of his Zee-SpiegeL 1680, 1689, c. 1698 Re-issued by J. Robijn
  • c. 1685 Part II: Atlantic coasts of Africa '9 charts published by J. Robijn


THEODORUS DANKERTS (grandson) 1663-1727

CORNELIS DANKERTS II (grandson) 1664-1717

The Dankerts family, of whom the above were the most important, were prominent print and map sellers active in Amsterdam for nearly a century. Between the years 1680 and 1700 a number of atlases were produced with maps bearing the names Justus or Theodorus Dankerts. These are now very rare and as the title pages and maps are undated it is difficult, if not impossible, to place any map against any particular edition. The Dankerts were also noted for production of splendid wall maps of the world and the continents.

Their stock of plates was acquired by R. and J. Ottens who used them for re-issues, having replaced the Dankerts names with their own.

  • 1680-1700 Atlas Several editions with the number of maps varying from 26 to about 100: no text on reverse
  • c. 1690 Pocket Atlas of the Southern Netherlands: map in 32 numbered sections
  • 1703 Planisphere Terrestre A re-issue of J. B. Nolin's World Map (1696) based on J. D. Cassini's planisphere


GERARD VAN KEULEN 1678-c. 1727





As we have noted in other biographies in this chapter, the Dutch produced a remarkable number of enterprising and prolific map and chart makers but not even the Blaeu and Jansson establishments could rival the vigour of the van Keulen family whose business was founded in 1680 and continued under their name until 1823 and in other names until 1885 when it was finally wound up and the stock dispersed at auction. Throughout the history of the family, the widows of several of the van Keulens played a major part, after their husbands' deaths, in maintaining the continuity of the business.

The firm was founded by Johannes van Keulen who was registered as a bookseller in Amsterdam in 1678. In 1680 he published the first part of his Zee Atlas which, over the years, was expanded to 5 volumes and continued in one form or another until 1734. More ambitious and with a far longer and more complicated life was his book of sea charts, the Zee-Fakkel, published in 1681-82 which was still being printed round the year 1800. A major influence in the development of the firm was the acquisition in 1693 of the stock of a rival map publisher, Hendrik Doncker.

Although the firm was founded by Johannes van Keulen, he was primarily a publisher; it was his son, Gerard, a talented engraver, mathematician, Hydrographer to the East India Company, who became the mainspring of the business which not only published charts but also books on every aspect of geography, navigation and nautical matters.

Set Out below is a very brief detail of the issues of the Zee Atlas and Zee-Fakkel.

  • 1680-1734 De Groote Nivuwe Wermeerderde Zee Atlas ofte Water-werelt Between these years the Zee Atlas was published in about 34 editions with text in Dutch, French, English and Spanish: the number of maps varied from as few as 25 to a peak of 185 in 1707-08. Generally the size was approximately 540-550 x 340-350 mm although in 1706, 1710, 1718 and 1734 Gerard van Keulen issued editions with maps enlarged to about 600 x 1,000 mm
  • 1681-1803 De Nieuwe Groote Lichtende Zee-Fakkel Le Nouveau & Grand Illuminant Flambeau de la MerThe Lightning Columne or Sea Mirrour La Nuevay Grande Relumbrante Antorcha d Ia MarDella nuova e grande Illuminante Face del Mare Part 1 (168i) North Sea and Baltic Part II (1681) North Sea, the Channel, Coasts of England, Portugal and Spain Part 111(1682) Mediterranean Part IV (1684) West Indies and Eastern Seaboard of North America Part V (1683) Atlantic coasts of Africa and Brazil (in later editions, charts of the Indian Ocean) Part VI (1753) Indian Ocean and Far East Average size: 500-520 x 580-590 mm: some editions incorporated larger charts - 600 x 1,000 mm In all there were over 120 editions of the Zee-Fakkel with text in Dutch, French, English (1716, one edition of Parts 1 and III only), Spanish and Italian. The original charts were compiled by Claes Janszoon Vooght and frequently only his name appears, even on the atlas title pages. In later years, especially under the direction of Gerard van Keulen and his sons, the charts were constantly revised and increased in number. Until the founding of the Dutch Hydrographic Office in 1856 they were regarded as the 'official' Dutch sea charts.


Not much is known of Vooght's personal life beyond his own description of himself as a 'surveyor and teacher of mathematics and the art of navigation' on which he was a prolific writer. He is noted as the author of charts in Johannes van Keulen's Zee-Fakkel; indeed, on some editions only his name appears and in consequence the Zee-Fakkel is often catalogued under his name.

JACOBUS ROBIJN 1649-c. 1707

About 1675, shortly before the van Keulen publishing business was set up in Amsterdam, Robijn practised there as a map 'illuminator' and chart seller. After a short association with Johannes van Keulen he acquired publishing rights covering the Zee-Spiegel and Zee Atlas from the widow of Pieter Goos and used the plates to produce his own pilot book and sea atlas. Apart from a small number of plates prepared to his own order, most of Robijn's work cannot be said to be original: he issued Goos's charts and those of Roggeveen with a variety of texts by J. and C. Jacobsz (Lootsman), Arent Roggeveen and even John Seller with the result that analysis of the various issues cannot easily be simplified. Robijn's stock was eventually taken over by Johannes Loots. The brief details given below should be read in conjunction with our notes on Pieter Goos and Arent Roggeveen.

  • 1682-96 Zee Atlas 9 editions with Dutch, French, English and Spanish text: the number of charts varied from 20 to 54, some by Robijn, others by Pieter Goos
  • c. 1680-98 Nieuwe Groote Zee-Spiegel 1680-98 Part V: three editions of 32-34 charts of the West Indies and the American seaboard compiled by Arent Roggeveen for his Het Brandende Veen (The Burning Fen) Part 1, first published by Pieter Goos (1675) c. 1685 Part IV: '9 charts of the Atlantic coasts of Africa, compiled by Arent Roggeveen for Part II of the same work 1690-94 Parts I, II and III: charts copied from Pieter Goos's De Nieuwe Groote ZeeSpiegel
  • 1688- Sea Mirrour Parts I, II and III: charts copied from Pieter Goos with English text 'borrowed' from Goos, Jacobsz and Seller. c. 1717 Parts IV and V: charts from The Burning Fen (as above) Re-issued by Joh. Loots

BERNHARD VAREN ft. 1622-50

Dutch physician and geographer whose work was used long after his death by Richard Blome and others.

  • 1682-93 A Compleat System of General Geography Translated and published by Richard Blome in his Cosmography and Geography containing charts and 24 maps of the world, the Continents and various countries and about 37 maps of the English counties. 1733 Re-issued  

PIETER SCHENK 1660-c. 1718

PIETER SCHENK (son) c. 1698-1775

PIETER SCHENK (grandson) 1728-c. 1784

Pieter Schenk was born in Germany but settled in Amsterdam where he became a pupil of Gerard Valck, the engraver. In 1687 he married Valck's sister and thereafter the Schenk and Valck families were active over a long period with a wide range of interests as print sellers, publishers of books, maps, topographical and architectural drawings and globe makers. Although the Schenk family produced some original maps, most of their atlases consisted of printings from revised and re-worked plates originally by Jansson, the Visschers, the Sansons and others.

  • c. 1683-94 (with Gerard Vaick) Re-issue of separate maps from the Atlas Novus by Jan Jansson
  • c. 1700 Atlas Contractus or Atlas Minor Maps by Jansson, de Wit, Visscher and others c. 1705, 1709 Re-issued 1719 Re-issued by P. Schenk II
  • 1702 Hecatompolis 100 town plans and views, about half being taken from Carel Allard's similar publication 1752 Re-issued
  • c. 1702 (with Leonard Valck) Atlantis sylloge compendiosa or Nova totius Geographia Various issues covering 25 to 100 maps
  • 1706 Schouwburg van den Oorlog Historical atlas 1707, 1709 Re-issued c. 1719, c. 1727, c. 1730 Re-issued by P. Schenk II
  • 1715 (with Gerard Valck) Atlas Anglois 34 maps: published in London by D. Mortier with later issues by Covens and Mortier
  • c. 1752 (P. Schenk II) Neuer Sdchsischer Atlas 1754, 1758, 1759, 1760, 1810 Re-issued
  • c. 1750 (P. Schenk II) Atlas van Zuyd Holland

GERARD VALCK c. 1651-1726

LEONARD VALCK (son) 1675-c. 1755

Gerard Valck and his son were printers, engravers and globe makers in Amsterdam, closely linked by marriage with the Schenk family with whom they also had a long business association in map engraving and publishing. For further detail see entry under Pieter Schenk.

  • c. 1683-94 (with Pieter Schenk) Re-issue of separate maps from the Atlas Novus by Jan Jansson
  • c. 1702 (with Pieter Schenk) Atlantis sylloge compendiosa or Nova totius GeographiaVarious issues covering 25 to 100 maps
  • 1715 (with Pieter Schenk) Atlas Anglois 34 maps: published in London by D. Mortier with later issues by Covens and Mortier


A Dutch missionary who was associated with the French explorer La Salle in searching for the course of the Mississippi. Although Hennepin's accounts of his adventures were often exaggerated and highly imaginative they were among the most widely read books of the time. He was the first to describe Niagara Falls and to use the name 'Louisiane' on a published map.

  • 1683 Carte de la Nouvelle France et de Ia Louisiane
  • 1697-98 L'Amerique Septentrionale Map of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi published in Hennepin's A New Discovery of a Vast Country.


DAVID MORTIER 1673-c. 1728


(See also under Covens and Mortier)

Pieter and David Mortier were brothers of French extraction whose publishing interests covered a wide field embracing French and English works as well as Dutch. Pieter was probably trained in the bookselling business in Paris and David spent many years in England; in fact, he acquired British nationality and died there in about 1728. After Pieter's death, his widow continued the business until their son, Cornelis, was able to take over; then, in 1721, Cornelis entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, Johannes Covens, to form the famous name Covens and Mortier, a firm which continued in being with slight change of name until the middle of the nineteenth century. For details of their publications see under Covens and Mortier.

  • c. 1690-1708 Atlas Nouveau Re-issue of Sanson/Jaillot maps originally published in Paris
  • 1693-1703 Le Neptune Franfois Charts engraved by H. van Loon in Paris (published by Jaillot) and re-engraved and published by Pieter Mortier in the same year, 1693 Other editions with Dutch/English text and additional volumes issued between 1693 and 1703
  • c. 1694 Atlas Novum (David Mortier) Maps by many different cartographers of the day, published in London c. 1708 Re-issued
  • c. 1700 Pocket Atlases in 6 volumes
  • c. 1710 Atlas Maior Re-issue of F. de Wit's Atlas Major Originally published from 1670 onwards
  • 1715-28 Nouveau Theatre de Ia Grand Bretagne/Atlas Anglois (David Mortier) 3 volumes including 34 maps by G. Valck and P. Schenk


  • c. 1690 Atlas Various issues containing 100-300 maps by earlier publishers

ROMAIN DE HOOGHE c. 1646-1708

A famous Dutch artist and engraver who produced a number of magnificent maps published in various atlases: some of the charts in Pieter Mortier's Atlas Maritime (part of Le Neptune Francois, 1693) were particularly splendid. For a time de Hooghe was in the service of King William III in England.


A book publisher who started business in Utrecht and later moved to Amsterdam and finally settled in Leeuwarden. Included in his prolific output ofhistorical and theological work were issues of the atlases detailed below.

  • 1695 Ptolemy's Geographia Re-issues at Utrecht of Mercator's 1578 edition: further issues 1698 (Franeker), 1704 (Utrecht) (See also Appendix A.)
  • 1704 Geographia Sacra c. 1705-09 Descrip hon de tout 1 Univers Re-issue of Sanson 5 Description de 1' Univers
  • 1718 Atlas of Friesland Re-issue of work by Schotanus van Sterringa (1698)

JOHANNES LOOTS c. 1665-1726

A mathematical and nautical instrument maker, Loots also published manuals on navigation. For a time he was in partnership with an engraver, A de Winter, and an author of text books on charts, Claes de Vries, who had ambitions to publish a very large sea atlas of some 200 charts but this was never completed on the scale contemplated. Some of their charts were sold to Gerard van Keulen and others were used in a sea atlas published in 1697. Charts by Loots also appear in a number of other pilot books and sea atlases of the time.

  • 1697 Het Nieu en Compleet Paskaart-Boek 11 charts of the North Sea and Baltic
  • c. 1707 Atlas The large sea atlas mentioned above containing 125-150 charts


Records show that van der Aa, born in Leyden in 1659, made an early start in life by being apprenticed to a bookseller at the age of nine and starting on his own in business as a book publisher by the time he was twenty-three. During the following fifty years he published an enormous amount of material including atlases and illustrated works in every shape and size, two of them consisting of no less than 27 and 28 volumes containing over 3,000 maps and plates. Most of his maps were not of the first quality and were certainly not original but they are often very decorative and are collected on that account.

  • c. 1 707 Zee-en land-reysen Cartes des itineraires et voyages modernes 28 volumes: average size of maps 240 X 360 mm
  • c. 1710 Atlas Nouveau et Cuneux Average size of maps 160 x 240 mm 1714, 1728 Re-issued
  • 1713 Le Nouveau Theatre du Monde (N. Gueudeville) 2 maps to a page: av. size 230 x 300 mm
  • 1714 Nouveau petit atlas Atlas Soulage 9 parts: average size of maps 140 x 200 mm
  • 1714 Nouvel Atlas: average size of maps 140 x 200 mm c. 1735 Re-issued by Covens and Mortier
  • 1729 La Ga/erie Agreable du Monde 27 volumes: 66 parts

EUGENE HENRI FRICX fl. 1706-c. 1740

Bookseller and printer in Brussels whose major work was a very large-scale map of Belgium and Luxembourg, much copied by other publishers.

  • 1712 Table des cartes des Pays Bas et desfrontieres de France 73 maps and plans of fortifications and sieges including the large-scale 24-sheet map of Belgium which was also published separately
  • 1744-92 A number of re-issues under the title Atlas Alilitaire


REINER OTTENS (son) 1698-1750

JOSHUA OTTENS (son) 1704-65

The family business of print and map selling was founded by Joachim Ottens but the active period of map publishing was concentrated in the years between 1720 and 1750 when the brothers, Reiner and Joshua, produced enormous collections of maps, some as large as 15 volumes. These, including copies of practically all maps available at the time, were made up to order and were magnificently coloured. Besides these specially prepared collections they also issued single-volume atlases with varying contents as well as pocket atlases.

  • 1720-50 Atlas Maior Special collections, mentioned above, contaming as many as 800 maps
  • 1725-50 Atlas/Atlas Minor Single-volume atlases: contents varying from 24 to well over 100 maps
  • 1739-45 Atlas de Ia Navigation et du Commerce Re-issue of work by L. Renard (1715)



(See also under Pieter, David and Cornelis Mortier)



trading as




Under the heading Pieter Mortier we give some details of the extensive publishing business which he built up in Amsterdam and which, after his death, was subsequently taken over by his son, the above-named Cornelis. In 1721 Cornelis married the sister of Johannes Covens and in the same year he and Johannes entered into partnership as publishers under the name Covens and Mortier which, with its successors, became one of the most important firms in the Dutch map publishing business.

Their prolific Output over the years included reissues of general atlases by Sanson, Jaillot, Delisle, Visscher, de Wit (whose stock they acquired) and others (often with re-engraved maps), atlases of particular countries including Germany, England and Scotland and others in Europe, pocket atlases, town plans and, from about 1730 onwards, a series under the title Nieuwe Atlas, some consisting of as many as 900 maps by various cartographers and publishers. As there is no conformity about these volumes they were presumably made up to special order and only general details of publication can be quoted in a work of this size.

  • c. 1725 Atlas Maior Re-issue of F. de Wit's Atlas (c. 1670 onwards)
  • c. 1730- c. 1774 Atlas Nouveau Re-issue of G. Delisle's Atlas (c. 1700)
  • 1737 A Map of the British Empire in America Re-issue of Henry Popple's map (1733)
  • c. 1735 Nouvel Atlas(4to) Re-issue of Pieter van der Aa's atlas (1714)
  • c. 1730-1800 Nieuwe Atlas Maps by most of the noted cartographers from Sanson onwards made up in special collections: title pages not dated. This series included maps of the British Isles by Valck and Schenk.


1735 Kleyne en Beknopte Atlas (8vo) Maps and town plans of various European cOuntries based on the work of the La Feuille family

ISAAC TIRION c. 1705-65

A successful publisher in Amsterdam who produced extensive volumes of Dutch town plans as well as a number of atlases with maps usually based on those of G. Delisle.

  • 1739-57 Atlas ofthe Dutch Provinces: 35-40 maps c.
  • 1740-84 Nieuwe en beknopte handatlas Six editions with number of maps varying from 34 to over 100

HENDRIK DE LETH c. 1703-66


Engraver, publisher and painter, active in Amsterdam, worked for the Visscher family and eventually took over the business. De Leth is better known as an artist and engraver than as a cartographer although his historical atlas of the Netherlands was a very popular work. His son, Hendrik de Leth (the Younger), published a World Atlas in 1788.

  • c. 1740-66 Nieuwe Geographische en Historische Atlas van de Zeven Vereengde Nederland Several editions, some of which were sold as pocket atlases with folded maps
  • 1743 A pocket map of London, Westminster and Southwark
  • 1749 Nouvel Atlas geographique et historique 1770 Re-issued by S. J. Baalde

S. J. BAALDE fl. 1757-89

Publisher and bookseller in Amsterdam.

  • 1770 Nouvel Atlas geographique & historique Maps of the Netherlands in 3/4 folds, based on atlas by Hendrik de Leth (1749) 1778 Re-issued
  • c. 1788 Reis und Hand Atlas Based on maps of the Netherlands by Hendrik de Leth (c. 1740)

JAN BAREND ELWE fl. 1785-09

A bookseller and publisher who reproduced a small number of maps copied from his predecessors.

  • 1785-8 Compleete Zak-Atlas (with D. M. Langeveld ft. 1785-8): 29 maps of the Dutch provinces
  • 1791 Reisatlas van geheel Duitschland Pocket atlas of Germany - 37 folded maps
  • 1792 Atlasdegeheele Wereld 37 maps


A Belgian publisher who produced one of the first atlases printed by lithography.

  • 1827 Atlas universel

Specialist References

BAGROW, L., History of Cartography

HOWSE, D. and SANDERSON, M., The Sea Chart Gives detailed examples of charts by Waghenaer, Goos, van Keulen and other Dutch chart makers

KOEMAN, D.C., Atlantes Neerlandici Virtually complete analysis of all Dutch atlases and pilot books published in the Netherlands up to 1880

SCHILDER, G., Australia Unveiled Gives the most detailed account available of the early Dutch maps of Australasia


Ortelius: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1570 and 1606 (English edition)

de Jode, G.: Speculum Orbis Terrarum, 1578

Waghenaer: Spiegbel der Zeevaerdt, 1585 The Mariner's Mirrour, 1588 Thresoor der Zeevaerdt, 1592

Barentsz: Caertboek, 1595

Wytfliet: Discriptionis Ptolemaicae augmentum, 1597

Blaeu, W.: The Light of Navigation, 1612 The Sea Beacon, 1643-44

Van den Keere: Germania Inferior, 1617

Mercator/Hondius/Jansson: Atlas for a Geographicke Description, 1636

Blaeu, J. Le Grand Atlas, 1663 edition

Van Keulen: De Nieuwe Groote Zee-Fakkel, 1716-53

Reproductions of complete atlases

TOOLEY, R. V., Maps and Map Makers Detailed lists of editions of Ortelius, Mercator, Blaeu and Jansson atlases and Dutch sea charts

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