John Senex

John Senex

John Senex (1678- 1740) was an English cartographer, engraver and explorer. He was also an astrologer and geographer to Queen Anne of Great Britain. He was a contemporary of the cartographer Herman Moll and a rival. In collaboration with Charles Price and James Maxwell he produced many fine maps of the world, the continents and various countries. During his collaboration with Charles Price, Senex created a series of engravings for the London Almanacs and in 1714 he published together with Maxwell an English Atlas.
He also had an interest in early road maps. In 1719, he issued an updated edition of Ogilby’s Brittania in miniature featuring the strip type road maps of England and Wales.
As a footnote, he was one of the cartographers who perpetuated the depiction of California as an island instead of part of mainland North America. Many of these maps are, as a result, appealing to certain collectors.

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.

Jacques Nicholas Bellin

Jacques Bellin (1703 – 1772) served for over fifty years as the first `Ingenieur hydrographe de la Marine’ at the French Hydrographic Service. During his term of office, he was commissioned to carry out major surveys, first of the coast of France and later of all the known coasts of the world. These surveys resulted in the production of a large number of sea charts of the highest quality. They were issued in many editions with varying numbers of charts until the end of the century. He was appointed Hydrographer to the King and was a member of the Royal society in London.

Pietro Ruga

Pietro Ruga

Pietro Ruga (? – 1825) was an Italian engraver, best known for his architectural views of Roman monuments, churches and squares. Among the subjects of his engravings are the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Basilica of Santo Sefano Rotondo, the Piazza Navona and the Piazza del Quirinale.
He also was a draughtsman of a few maps of Rome during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

John Tallis

John Tallis (1838-51) founder of Tallis and Co., London map publishers who traded under various names: L. Tallis, Tallis & co, John Tallis, John Tallis & co. (London & New York) between 1838 and 1851. After 1850-51, their maps were published by the London Printing and Publishing Co., London and New York. The Illustrated Atlas of the World, published in 1849 with the maps and decorative vignette’s engraved and drawn by John Rapkin, was one of the last atlases to be truly decorated and is therefore highly prized.

These atlas maps were first published in serial form to a target audience for which the expense and hardship of travel was prohibitive. The progress of the nineteenth century brought swift and dramatic changes in public awareness of far-away places. Tallis’ maps likely played an important role in this dramatic awakening. These maps not only provided up-to-date geographical knowledge, but also used vignette views within the map’s design to show the native people and their occupations, cities and points of interest. The maps remind us of a cartographic tradition from the Dutch mapmakers of the seventeenth century with finely engraved decorative borders.

Rapkin’s maps included views drawn and engraved by a number of prominent artists. The maps were issued as a complete volume from 1851 until about 1865. Some of the maps were also published in other history books published by Tallis including the British Colonies and, without the vignettes, in geographical dictionaries and encyclopedias until about 1880.

Gerard Mercator

For over fifty years, Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was the most highly regarded cartographer in the world.  His name is synonymous with the form of map projection still in use today.  Although he did not invent this type of projection, he was the first to apply it to navigational charts so the compass bearings could be plotted on charts in straight lines, solving an age-old problem of navigation at sea.

Mercator was born Gerard Kremer in 1512 in Rupelmonde, on the banks of the Schelde river in Flanders and studied in Louvain (both in modern Belgium).  Kremer being German for ‘merchant’, caused Gerard to choose the Latin name Mercator to become the merchant peddler, the global citizen, self made, multi-cultural opportunist operating across the boundaries of both Church and State.

In Louvain, he was taught by Gemma Frisius, Dutch writer, astronomer and mathematician, who had a strong influence on his early development.  He established himself in Louvain as a cartographer and instrument and globe maker.  At the age of twenty-five, he drew and engraved his first map (of the Holy Land) 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.  He became caught up in the persecution of Lutheran Protestants and charged with heresy, resulting in imprisonment.  Fear of further persecution may have influenced his move in 1552 to Duisburg, Germany where he continued the production of maps, globes and instruments.

In later life he devoted himself to his own edition of the maps in Ptolemy’s Geographia,and to the preparation of his three volume collection of maps, which was called an ‘Atlas’.  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 son Rumold was responsible for the complete edition in 1595. A second complete edition was produced in 1602.  Mercator’s 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 a quarter of a century thereafter.