Antique maps and prints were usually produced by a collaboration of individuals. A single map, for instance, could have been surveyed, drawn, and engraved by three different people, for an atlas edited by a fourth, published by a fifth - then perhaps reissued by a sixth,or adapted and reissued by others.
As with antique prints, the custom of assigning early maps to a particular person varies. Sometimes this depended on the prominence of the style of the presentation of a publication. For instance, atlases published by Ortelius and Blaeu, and the later maps published by Tallis, are of a particular style and are usually attributed to these mapping houses rather than to the cartographer or engraver whose name might appear on the map itself.
Chronological summary of map engravers, publishers, cartographers & their work:
Rosselli was an Italian cartographer, engraver and map seller, based in Florence. The world map compiled by Contarini, engraved by Rosselli, and published circa 1506, is the oldest surviving printed map showing any part of the American continent. He is attributed with being the earliest recorded seller of maps.
A French engraver and map publisher, Lafreri is best known as a publisher of map "collections" which were actually the precursors to the world atlas. Having set up business in Rome around 1544, Lafreri collaborated with Antonio Salamanca, a Roman map publisher, who contributed many maps. In one of his collections, in 1566, Lafreri published Bolognino Zaltieri's map of North America, which was the first published map showing a strait separating North America from Asia, as proposed by Gastaldi some years earlier.
Cornelis de JODE (son) (1568-1600)
Born in Nijmegen, trained as an engraver of maps, Gerard de Jode established business as a cartographer, engraver, printer and publisher in Antwerp. He began publishing maps in 1555, and in 1564 published Ortelius's famous 8-sheet world map. Gerard de Jode published his major atlas "Speculum Orbis Terrarum", with sixty-five maps engraved by Jan and Lucas van Doeticum, in 1578, following the expiry of Ortelius's monopoly. Although some of his maps were superior, Gerard's prominence as a cartographer was totally eclipsed by Ortelius who was his main rival. "Speculum Orbis Terarum" is extremely rare, with only twelve copies have come to light. Gerard's atlas received more attention when it was enlarged and reissued as "Speculum Orbis Terrae" in 1578 by his son, Cornelis de Jode.
Homen was one of the most important portolan chart makers of his time. He engraved the plates for a sea chart, which was produced in 1569. Showing most of Europe from Denmark to the Mediterranean, it is deemed to be the first sea chart ever printed. Exiled for political reasons, Homen proceeded to England, but ended up in Venice where his sea chart "La Carta del navigar dell'Europa" was eventually published by Paolo Forlani between 1569 and 1571. It was reissued by Lafreri circa 1572, and again in Rome circa 1606.
An English engraver who with William Hole produced a fine set of maps of the English and Welsh counties. First issued in 1607 with Latin text on the back, they were reissued in 1610 without text on the back, and again in 1637 with a plain back and a number engraved on the lower left-hand corner of the majority of the counties.
A French cartographer, Du Val was the son-in-law and student of Nicolas Sanson, Senior. One of Du Val's earliest works in 1645, was the combination of maps with a simple dice board game "Le Jeu du Monde" in which each circular position was shown by a map of a different country. His first more traditional style map publication was "Tables geographiques de tous les pays du monde" of 1651. Du Val published a large number of atlases, individual maps of the world and the continents, and wall maps. His major work, "Cartes de geographie les plus nouvelle" was a folio-size atlas of 102 maps, which he published in 1672, reissued in 1677, and his daughter reissued in 1688. The miniature (12mo) atlases "Le Monde Christien" and "Geographie Universelle" were issued around 1680-2, the latter being reissued posthumously in 1691 and 1694.
An engraver and geographer, De Fer was better known for his ingenious ornamentation of his maps, rather than the geographical exactitude of his cartography. Prolific in output, he issued more than 600 separate maps, including three major atlases, sheet maps and large wall maps. "Les Cotes de France" of 1690 and "La France triomphante sous le regne de Louis le grand" of 1693 were published soon after he was appointed Geographer to the King. His maps are revered today for their flamboyant decoration and geographical errors.
Born in the village of Raucourt in the Ardennes, Bonne was a well-respected hydrographical engineer and was appointed Royal Hydrographer in Paris. He compiled charts of the coasts of France, and his folio size "Atlas Maritime" was published in 1762 and re-issued in octavo size in 1778. "Petit Tableau de France" was published in 1764. Bonne published a number of atlases and maps, and provided maps for all parts of the known world for Guillaume Raynal's noteworthy "Atlas de toutes les parties connues du globe terrestre" published in 1780. With Nicolas Desmaret he published "Atlas de geographie ancienne" in 1783, and the "Atlas encyclopedique" in 1787-88, re-issued long after his death, in 1827. "Atlas encyclopedique" is the best-known printed summary of all of Cook's maps pertaining to the relatively recent discovery of Australia.
French geographer, navigator, explorer and naturalist, d'Urville made three voyages to Australia and New Zealand between 1822 and 1840. "Voyage de la Corvetter 'Astrolabe'" was published in 1833, "Voyage pittoresque autour du monde" was published in 1834 and "Voyage au Pole Sud et dans l'Oceanie" was published between 1841 and 1854.
George Colton drew the maps for their best known "Atlas of the World" published in 1855, with geographical descriptions by Richard Swainson Fisher. This was published simultaneously in London by Trubner and Company, and reissued in 1856 in conjunction with J. Walters of Baltimore. In 1864 it was issued again with Bacon & Co. replacing Trubner as London distributors. In 1866 it appeared under the imprint of G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co.
The up-to-date content of Colton maps was of course commendable, but it was the decorative borders around each map that set them apart, became a signature of Colton presentation, and assisted in establishing the Colton firm as the pre-eminent North American cartographers of the day. In 1859 Colton sold the plates to this atlas to A.J. Johnson.
Alvin Jewett Johnson became a prolific American map publisher. From a poor background, with minimal education A.J. Johnson worked as a school teacher for several years before moving from Vermont to Richmond, Virginia to work as a salesman for map publisher J.H. Colton & Company in 1856. Johnson immediately became absorbed with map-making. He provided much needed financial assistance to Colton and Company, acquired their steel-engraved map plates in 1859, and published his first significant work, "Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas" the same year.
With a succession of partners, A.J. Johnson continued to produce maps in the Colton style until the late 19th century. Johnson initially appended "Successors to J.H. Colton and Company" on his maps. He transferred the Colton steel plate engravings onto lithographic stones to reduce expenses in map publication, and after the outbreak of the American Civil War, in partnership with Browning, moved their office to New York. Johnson and Browning published the Johnson Atlas in 1860 and 1861. In 1861, Browning sold his partnership to Benjamin P. Ward, and Johnson Family Atlas was published by Johnson and Ward in 1862, including some of Johnson and Browning maps. In 1864 and 1865 updated Johnson and Ward maps were published, and from 1866 the maps only credited Johnson. This Family Atlas continued to be updated and published until 1887.