Cornelis Danckerts – Justus Danckerts (son) – Theodorus Danckerts (son)

The Dankerts family was a prominent print and map selling family active in Amsterdam for nearly a century.  Cornelis Danckerts (1603-1656) “The Elder” and Justus Danckerts (1635-1701) were by far its most significant members.  Maps bearing the names Justus or Theodorus Danckerts were produced and placed in atlases between 1680 and 1700. These are very rare.  The title pages and maps of these atlases are undated making it difficult, if not impossible, to place a map in a particular edition. The Danckerts 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 Danckerts names with their own.

Nicholas De Fer

French cartographer, geographer, engraver and publisher Nicholas De Fer (1646-1720) took over the business begun by his father Antoine De Fer.  Nicholas was a prolific producer of over 600 sheet maps, wall maps and atlases.  His maps were prized for their decorative qualities rather than the accuracy of their geography.  None the less, his reputation grew culminating in his appointment as Geographer to the King.  Among his works are several atlases: France Triomphante in 1693, Forces de L’Europe 1696, Atlas Curieux 1705 and Atlas Royal.

Claude De L’Isle and Guillaume De L’Isle (son)

Claude De L’Isle (1644-1720) was a geographer and historian, working in Paris, but overshadowed by his more famous son, Guillaume.

Guillaume De L’Isle, (1675-1726) Premier Geographe to the French king, was probably the leading map-maker of the period.  His work was important, marking a transition from the maps of the Dutch school, which were highly decorative and artistically-oriented, to a more scientific approach, emphasizing the scientific base on which the maps were constructed and out of which the modern school of cartography emerged.

He was prominent in the recalculation of latitude and longitude, based on the most up-to-date celestial observations, and his major contribution was in collating and incorporating this information in his maps, setting a new standard of accuracy, quickly followed by many of his contemporaries, including the Dutch.

His first atlas was published in about 1700, in 1702 he was elected a member of the Academie Royale des Sciences, and in 1718 became Premier Geographe du Roi.  His maps of the newly explored parts of the world reflect the most up-to-date information available and did not contain fanciful detail in the absence of solid information.

After his death in 1726 his business was continued by his nephew Philippe Buache, and subsequently by J. Dezauche.

Joseph Nicholas De L’Isle (1688-1768), Guillaume’s brother, became a friend of Peter the Great and supplied him with information on the Russian Empire.  He stayed in Russia for twenty-two years and was in charge of the Royal Observatory in St. Petersburg, returning to France in 1747, taking with him much of the material he had access to, particularly relating to explorations along the northern Pacific coasts of Russia and America, which he subsequently published.  The Atlas Russicus was published in 1747 and contained twenty maps.

Simon Claude De L’Isle (1675-1726) was a historian.  It is interesting to note that he was born and died in the same years as his elder brother Guillaume.

Frederick De Wit

Following the decline of the Amsterdam houses of Blaeu and Jansson,  De Wit (1630-1706) became one of the most successful map engravers and publishers in the late seventeenth century.  Having acquired at auction many copper plates of Blaeu and Jansson, he had a solid foundation.   He left little uncharted territory as far as map making is concerned.  His work included, world atlases, an atlas of the Netherlands, city and town plans of the Netherlands and Europe, sea charts and wall maps.  Admired for the beauty of his engraving and coloring, his maps were very popular during his lifetime and after his death in 1706.   Editions of his work were issued after his death by Pieter Mortier and Covens and Mortier well into the eighteenth century.

Jean-Claude Dezauche

Renowned for accurate, scientific precision in their cartography, French cartographers of the eighteenth century marked a change from their more artistically oriented predecessors. This was likely due to wider availability of more accurate data. Jean-Claude Dezauche (1770-1824) and Phillipe Buache (1700-1773) were the successors to the influential Guillaume De L’Isle, and continued this scientific approach.
Dezauche acquired the work of De L’Isle and Phillipe Buache in 1780, having bought it from Jean Nicolas Buache de la Neuville, Phillipe’s nephew. Dezauche made his own alterations and improvements to the works based upon new information, and re-published them in accordingly. His work is often mistaken for De L’Isle’s as a result.

Pierre DuVal

Pierre DuVal (1619 – 1683) was the son-in-law of Nicolas Sanson, the father of French cartography. He published a wide range of atlases, individual maps of the world, the continents and many spectacular wall maps.
Like compatriot A. H. Jaillot, DuVal is heralded for re-engraving many maps of Sanson, several still unprinted after Sanson’s death. DuVal did this against strong competition from the Dutch, who continued to dominate the map market until the end of the 17th century.