Biographies of Some of the More Famous Cartographers
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.
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.
Edward Stanford (1827-1904) was a publisher, engraver and founder of ‘Geographical Establishment’ located at 6 Charing Cross. He went on to take over the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in 1857 and issued the “Family Atlas” (1857-75) and the “London Atlas” (1882), amongst other items.
Stanford maps tend to combine geographical accuracy and function with a clarity of presentation.
Edward was succeeded by his son Edward, the younger, and the firm Stanford’s is still in existence today.
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.
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.
The GOOS FAMILY
Abraham Goos (c.1590-1643) was an Amsterdam engraver, mapseller, cartographer and publisher and father to Pieter Goos (161501675), who also assumed his father’s professions. Abraham’s family links to the map trade were undeniable – he was the nephew of Pieter van den Keere and Collette van den Keere (who married Jodocus Hondius).
Abraham worked with many of the members of his extended family as well as Johannes Jansonnius. He published globes with Pieter van den Keere and also engraved Americae Nova Descriptio for him. He also replaced the worn plate for ‘The Kingdom Of England’ in John Speed’s “Theatre Of The Empire Of Great Britaine” for the 1632 and subsequent editions.
Pieter Goos, Abraham’s son and successor, was perhaps the most active member of the family. In 1650 he acquired the plates to Jacobsz’s mariner’s guide, “De Lichtende Columne Ofte Zee-Spiegel”. Pieter re-issued this work in numerous editions and also produced English editions in 1667, 1668, 1669 and 1670 – the many editions of this work prove its popularity with the consumer public and the charts are recognisable today as being of a high standard.
Pieter’s other works were also maritime based and also often extended to numerous editions in several languages. The “Zee-Atlas Ofte Water-Wereld” by Pieter Goos was first published in 1666 – many of the charts were based on those of Hendrik Doncker and the concept for a sea atlas was not original. However, this work was also well received by the public.
I.C.Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici Volume IV, pp.192-217.
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.
Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771) was one of the leading English publishers of the eighteenth century. His career was distinguished and placed him at the forefront of cartographical endeavours at this time.
Jefferys’ career began with an apprenticeship to Emanuel Bowen in 1735 where he was to learn his trade, joining Thomas Kitchin in the workshop and he was able to specialise in map compilation and production from the very start of his career. From 1744 his independent career began to take off and Jefferys took on apprentices of his own; John Lodge and John Spilsbury being two noted examples.
Jefferys’ first publications were maps for books and magazines as well as “The small English atlas” co-published with Kitchin in 1748-1749. However, it was with his publication of a number of town plans (Noble & Butlin’s Northampton, Samuel Bradford’s plans of Coventry and Birmingham, and Isaac Taylor’s Wolverhampton, amongst others) that he really began to come to prominence in English mapping
In 1750 Jefferys moved to new premises at Charing Cross and it was from here that he was to issue some of the most important maps of the era. His career spanned the period of the Seven Years War and the political wrangling which preceded this war. “The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America;....” was published, posthumously, by Robert Sayer in 1775 although many individual sheets had been issued by Jefferys in the 1750s. Individually remarkable maps from the atlas include William Scull's "A Map of Pennsylvania", Lt. Ross's "Course of the Mississippi" and Capt. Samuel Holland's "The Province of New York and New Jersey" among others. In his introduction to the facsimile edition of "The American Atlas" Walter Ristow said, "It's timely publication, on the eve of the American Revolution, assured a good audience, and as a major cartographic reference work it was, very likely, consulted by American, English and French civilian administrators and military officers ...".
Jefferys is also well-known and respected for his large-scale mapping of the British counties. In 1759 the body that is now the Royal Society of Arts announced a prize of £1000 to be awarded for an original survey at a scale of one-inch-to-the-mile. The first recipient of the award was Benjamin Donn whose map of Devon, completed in 1765, had taken five and a half years to produce – this was engraved by Jefferys. Jefferys went bankrupt in 1766 but was redeemed by friends who financed his continuing in business. Without the financial buoyancy provided by these friends Jefferys would not have surveyed, engraved and published large-scale maps of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Westmoreland and Cumberland (published after his death, by request).
Laurence Worms, Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771) Beginning the World Afresh, in MapForum Issue 3, pp.20-29.
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.
John Luffman, who flourished 1776-1820, was an engraver, publisher and goldsmith working out of London. His published works include, amongst others, a 1776 edition of Taylor and Skinner’s “Roads, New Pocket Atlas” (1803) and “Universal Atlas” (1815). His best known work is perhaps “New Pocket Atlas And Geography Of England And Wales” with curious circular maps of the county. He also provided the maps and charts for Serres’ “The Little Sea Torch”, a description of many Mediterranean locations from which this miniature plate comes. Maps showing the island of Elba alone are difficult to find and this is an attractive example.
Cornelis Wytfliet (d.1597), born in Louvain, was not a geographer but a lawyer interested in geography. He became Secreatary to the Council of Brabant and in 1597 he published “Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum ...”, in which his intention was to describe all the parts of the world which had not been known to Ptolemy. In effect it was an atlas of America. A French translation, published by Francois Fabri at Douai, appeared in 1605, under the title “Histoire Universelle Des Indes Occidentales”. This was an enlarged edition of the work with four small maps of the east coast.
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.
All four volumes of the dictionary are available from Jonathan Potter Limited.
Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers Volume A-D
ISBN 0906430143 / ISBN-13 9780906430149 - Map Collector Publications (1999)
Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers Volume E-J
ISBN 0906430194 / ISBN-13 9780906430194 - Early World Press (2001)
Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers Volume K-P
ISBN 0906430208 / ISBN-13 9780906430200 - Early World Press (2003)
Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers Volume Q-Z
ISBN 0906430216 / ISBN-13 9780906430217 - Early World Press (2004)