Born in Leyden, Pieter (1659-1733) was apprenticed to a bookseller at the age of nine and started his own in business as a book publisher by the time he was twenty-three. As a publisher his output was varied and prolific with his main interest in the production of maps and atlases.
His publications include an Atlas Nouveau completed in about 1710, and the Galerie Agreable du Monde, consisting of 66 parts in 27 volumes, completed in 1729. The latter contains over 3,000 maps. Parts 61—63 deal solely with Africa.
Van Der Aa was a very successful merchant, however as a geographer, he was poorly regarded. His maps are collected predominately because of their decorative qualities, reflecting his eye for that which was salable. Many of his maps were engraved by well-known Dutch engravers such as Luiken, Goeree and Stoopendael, and are fine examples of early eighteenth-century map productions.
Huych “Hugo” Allard (1625-1691) was an engraver and the founder of the Allard family publishing business in Amsterdam. He was succeeded by his son Carel (1648-c.1706) and by Carel’s sons, Hugo the younger and Abraham.
Although the “Golden Age” of Dutch cartography was dominated by the activities of the Blaeu family, the Hondius/Jansson partnership, De Wit and Visscher, numerous other mapmakers, engravers and publishers in Amsterdam were successful as well. Allard was one of these. His output was relatively small consisting of loose maps and some atlases often using the work of his more famous countrymen. His maps are well designed, finely engraved and rare. Huych’s maps included the world, the East Indies, New York, New England and Leo Belgicus amongst others.
Carel took over the business from his father in 1691 and he published a number of atlases by Jansson and De Wit amongst others, but he was also responsible for a number of original works. These original works are often decorative in style and were based on up-to-date knowledge. Works included Totius Neobelgii Nova Et Accuratissima Tabula(c.1674) and Orbis Sive Americae Septentrionalis … (1690). Carel also issued a number of composite atlases comprising his own and others’ maps as the Atlas Major or Atlas Minor, however, the maps are relatively scarce.