Tijdschrift voor de Geschiedenis van de Kartografie
From the 'Atlas der Neederlanden': the first wallmap of the Seven Provinces of 1651, re-issued as 'Stoel des Oorlogs' by Covens & Mortier (c. 1740)
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 1, pp. 3-6]
Two centuries ago the years 1813-1815 marked the genesis of the present Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (Kingdom of the Netherlands). That period also marks the birth and the final compilation of the Atlas der Neederlanden,
a 9-volume composite atlas in the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam. The volumes include over 600 various maps covering the topography of the country in the seventeenth,
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Commemorating this double bicentennial was a splendid inducement and opportunity for the restoration and digitization of the complete atlas,
to publish a full facsimile edition, and to mount an exhibition at the end of 2013. That will be exactly 200 years after the French had left the country and the then future King Willem I set foot on
Dutch ground again.
In support of this project Caert-Thresoor's 2013 cover features a decorative detail of one of the many multi-sheet maps which are bound in the atlas. It concerns the Covens & Mortier re-issue of the 9-sheet map of the Republic of the Seven Provinces by Cornelis Danckerts. He published the map in 1651, a mere three years after the Treaty of Münster sanctioned the Republic's independence. Contrary to the many wall-maps made of the former Seventeen Provinces, only three such maps were produced of the new Republic. This one was the first, followed by a map by Frederick de Wit, Belgium Foederatum, of c. 1670, and another issued by Johannes de Ram in c. 1690 (Van der Heijden and Blonk, De kaart van de Republiek der VII Provinciën 1615-1797, nos. 7, 15, and 33 respectively). The only known copy of De Wit's map is included in one of the atlas volumes as well, a remarkable and noteworthy coincidence.
The first issue of the present wall-map is known to be included in the Klencke Atlas in the British Library; the second edition, by son Dancker Danckerts, is present in the other two giant atlases: the Mecklenburg Atlas in Rostock and the Atlas des Grossen Kurfürsten in Berlin. After Nicolaas Visscher published a third state of this decorative piece it was the firm of Covens & Mortier who sold this fourth and final state of the map. Presumably commemorating the 1648 treaty and the Republic's independence, this map might be considered to be a peace-counterpart of the monumental 21-sheet world map that was published by Joan Blaeu in 1648. This historical context, also unveiled by the many decorative and symbolical references, hardly applied to the Covens & Mortier era. However, the new 'Stoel des Oorlogs' title and some minor changes were a poor attempt to bring it more or less up-to-date and fit it into the popular 'Théâtre de la guerre' category. This map, like those in the giant atlases, is a good example of the few surviving cartographic treasures, meant to be mounted and hung on the wall, which owe their excellent state of preservation to having been well bound in atlas volumes. (back)
The 12th/13th-century world map on the cover of a Sallustius manuscript in the Dutch town of Deventer
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 1, pp. 7-10]
This map is a mappa mundi of the familiar T-O class, dividing a circle into three 'continents': Asia, Africa and Europe. Yet it is exceptional in its own way. Drawn on the first leaf it was exposed to light
and handling as it functioned as the cover of a parchment containing the Bellum Jugurthinum [The war against Jugurtha] of Sallustius. At first sight deciphering seems to be impossible, but modern
photographic techniques prove helpful. Combined with a transcription made in 1852, most words - even some very enigmatic ones - can now be read. The number of 'names' is more than fifty and
so this map was selected as an example in Mappemondes A.D. 1200 – 1500: catalogue, edited by M. Destombes (Amsterdam, 1964).
Taking a closer look at some peculiar names as 'Armeni', 'Medi' and 'Persae', quite surprisingly in the African section, it became evident that Sallustius is the source. In just three chapters his outline of the geography and early history contains the names and especially the myths that decided the choice made by the map's designer. In the Early Middle Ages, even starting with Augustinus, the moralising and anecdotic parts of Sallustius were favourite, as shown on the map in the African section. By contrast the Asian section is schematic. Here the fruits of a, 12th-century, school system are manifest. 'Nova Babilonia' in Egypt is also a late addition; built as a fortress by the Romans in 98 A.D. it was abandoned in 641. The Coptic patriarch transferred from Alexandria in the 11th century. In the European section Byzantium seems to dominate. (back)
Marco van Egmond & Kees Smit
Criticism on a 17th-century historical map of the Roman Netherlands: an unknown letter by Buchelius to the historian Miraeus
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 1, pp. 11-19]
Correspondence between scholars in the past played an important role in scientific discourse. Contemporary maps, too, were often the subject of discussion in the letters of various scientists. One of those letters was written around 1630 by the Utrecht historian Buchelius Arnoldus (1565-1641). Here he criticizes a then recently published historical map of the Netherlands in the Roman period. On that map, published by Pierre Verbist with a description by the historian Aubertus Miraeus (1573-1640), the first Roman roads in our country are reconstructed. This article discusses the contents of Buchelius' criticism and sheds light on the former attempts of scholars to solve the uncertainties about the limes, the border of the Roman Empire. (back)
Peter H. Meurer
Cartometric analysis of Jacob van Deventer's map of Gelderland
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 2, pp. 35-41]
The map of Gelderland (or the Duchy of Guelders) is the third within the series of five epochmaking maps of Netherlands provinces by Jacob van Deventer (1501/02–1575). No copy of the
original edition (woodcut, Mechelen 1543) has survived. Van Deventer's map of Gelderland is accessible through a copperplate version, published in 1556, probably in Antwerp. In a first
basic step of cartometric analysis, a distortion grid reveals a very differing accuracy. This is further substantiated by a reconstruction of the triangulation and by mapping both measured and
non-measured localities, as indicated in the town symbols used.
The western and northern parts of Guelders appear to have a high geometrical accuracy, while the area east of the river Maas has been mapped rather superficially. This can be explained by simultaneous historical events: the struggle around the succession to the Duchy of Guelders between Emperor Charles V and Duke William of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. This Guelders War began in July 1542 with the invasion of Brabant along the Maas by troops of Cleve, obstructing van Deventer's access to the Duchy of Guelders. Only along the river Roer, in the wake of an Imperial army, could he continue his triangulations in October 1542. (back)
Marcel van den Broecke
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 2, pp. 42-46]
Although Ortelius acquired his wealth through his atlas, his passion was Roman history, including inscriptions and coins. Geography could play a sustaining role as "the eye of history", as demonstrated in the Parergon section of his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius' Arx Britannicae (1578), formerly only known through a close copy by Guicciardini, has relatively recently been identified in the Beudeker Collection of the British Museum. Next to the map and cartouches, the inscriptions and coins have been analysedand can be identified as dating from the second century AD. No remnants of the Arx Britannicae have been found, but some of its marble inscriptions have been preserved. (back)
René van der Schans
Cadastral mutation maps in serious need of help
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 2, pp. 47-52]
From the official beginnings in 1832 till 2007 the Dutch Cadastre has recorded every change in form or number of the property parcels on hulpkaarten ('auxiliary maps'). These maps, which could be better characterized by the term 'mutation maps', contained only the modified parcels, on a geographic reference grid, and were used to keep the bijbladen ('supplement maps' or 'updated maps') up-to-date by means of erasure and substitution of the defunct parcels. In this way the Cadastre produced about 3,500,000 mutation maps, which can be considered as the 'birth announcement cards' of all new parcels since 1832. They are the only complete source for reconstruction of the spatial development of The Netherlands at parcel level. Some years ago the Cadastre scanned all these paper maps, and is now intending to destroy this unique collection of national, and even international, cultural heritage importance. This article gives information about the maps and their utilization, about the scanning procedure and its resulting mediocre quality, and about the actions - on juridical and cultural grounds, in court, and by consultation and deliberation with regional archives - to save the original maps from irreversible destruction. (back)
Eduard van Breen
Two treasure maps of St. Lucia Bay on Madagascar: An invitation from four centuries
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 2, pp. 53-61]
An examination of two rare and almost unknown maps of St. Lucia Bay on the southeast coast of Madagascar has yielded hitherto unidentified treasures.
The first 1611 map by Jan Gerretsz. shows two Dutch East India Company (VOC) ships, Banda and Half Moon, and immediately raises the question why these vessels had gone against the standard sailing instructions of the time by visiting the remote St. Lucia Bay far from the prescribed route to the Indies. As history was silent on the subject the only other detailed map of the Bay, by Johannes Vingboons and dated 1665-1670, was consulted: this shows both similarities and differences. It appears that Vingboons may have had insight into both the same and additional information and had assembled events of different time periods in a single frame: a construction not unknown of Vingboons.
Intriguingly, hidden through the ages, Vingboons had also included the barely detectible words "onse vasticheijt" ('our stronghold') on his map. As the French had built a fort in St. Lucia in 1642 any Dutch fortification had to have been erected prior to that year. In the period 1607 (the first recorded visit) and 1641 only 7 visits were of sufficient duration, but 2 stopovers stand out. The large captured carrack São Antoni had shipwrecked on the St. Lucia beach in 1607. Her crew was ultimately rescued and her cargo recovered after 477 days by the smaller Mauritius the next year.
Part of the São Antoni's cargo and a number of guns had to be left behind in the sands of St. Lucia to be picked up later. The first ship leaving Amsterdam tasked with this assignment was Der Goes who arrived in St. Lucia in 1610. We will not know with certainty if the other 5 visits to St. Lucia had better reasons to build a stronghold, but a plausible reason is now identified why the Banda and Half Moon were in this remote Bay. In a time of shipwrecks and uncertainty the VOC would have wanted to verify that the buried cargo had been salvaged. Before answer from Der Goes could have come back to Amsterdam the Admiral of the next fleet, Laurens Reael, had also been instructed to visit St. Lucia Bay where the chief mate Jan Gerretsz. had completed his map on November 1st 1611 proudly depicting the Banda and Half Moon. (back)
The (un)reliability of the Topographic and Military Map
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 3, pp. 75-84]
The first ordnance survey map of the Netherlands, that came about between 1834 and 1864, is the first map that shows a uniform, detailed and reliable picture of the topography on the scale 1:50.000. The edition on 62 sheets was highly appreciated for its fine lithographic printing and its cartographic content. Nowadays it is frequently used for historical investigations. However the map contains some imperfections, which are explained in this article. A first category of defects is caused by the fact that the surveyors were future members of the army's General Staff, who lacked experience in map making. Also the copying by hand, which had to take place several times during the process of map production, lead to failures, as did the manual reduction from the scale of 1:25.000 of the original survey map to 1:50.000 of the printed one. Other defects were connected with the geometric framework of the map. For this aspect the results of the trigonometrical survey, that general C.R.T. Kraijenhoff had executed during the period 1801-1811, were used in combination with the cadastral maps. These lacked a coherent trigonometrical base and could therefore not be fitted, without distortions, into Kraijenhoff's framework. The dating of the map also caused indistinctness and problems. The date that is placed below the map sheets contains two elements: the years in which the survey took place and the year in which the lithographic stone was engraved. It is misleading that the map was reprinted several times without adapting the original date. Apart from that, the updates were of a highly arbitrary character. They were not based on systematical surveys, but on the collection of information from different sources. The emphasis was put on aspects that were regarded as important from a military point of view, like new railways, roads, canals and polders. Only from 1873 onwards were the years of the updatings printed on the sheets. Finally the indication of altitudes was defective. For this the adapted method of Lehmann was used, that expressed the differences in height by a system of hachures. Declivities were measured by the levelling compass; heights by the mercury barometer. Many inexactitudes occurred, which were corrected only by a new, systematic measuring of altitudes that took place from 1894 on. (back)
A specialist among many colleagues: David Reerigh and his 'superfeijn' deposed wall maps of Holland (1647) and Rhineland (1687/88)
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 3, pp. 85-96]
From archival research it appears that many colourists in the 17th century found work in the flourishing map trade both in Amsterdam and abroad. 139 different names of these anonymous workers came to light (see 'Appendix'). Due to few of their works having been signed, and the paucity of contemporary references, it is hard to relate their names to specific works. One of the very few exceptions is David Reerigh (1627/28 - after 1695). His signature was found in a contemporary bound, very fine coloured copy of Jacob Aertsz. Colom's large wall map of Holland (1647). The colouring of large wall maps, whose individual sheets are also to be found gathered as an atlas, seems to have been his speciality. Forty years later Reerigh was commissioned by the Rijnland Dike Reeves to colour the first copies of the large wall map of Rijnland (1678/88, 2nd ed.). Original receipts with his detailed specifications for 48 maps were found (1688-90). Reerigh specified different ranges of colouring, from regular to very de-luxe. He also engaged in other more unexpected activities such as the correction, in hundred copies, of an engraving error, and the binding of map-books. (back)
Collecting nautical charts. A thematic collection of old maps
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 4, pp. 111-122]
Chart collectors, like the readers of Caert-Thresoor, tend to admire and study the really old nautical charts, from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. And with reason.
More recent, more developed, charts from the 19th and even the 20th centuries, printed from copper plate or in offset, generally attract less attention. Now that we are entering the era of digital cartography, and possibly even digital navigation, we should be aware of the variety and beauty of many of those rather recent paper charts from 1900 or slightly earlier. Many of these charts were designed and published in a time when standardization was very limited and electronic navigation aids were non-existent. These charts were often used far into the 20th century.
Standardization of charts worldwide really started after 1921, when the International Hydrographic Bureau was founded in Monaco. Units, scales, formats, abbreviations, symbols (including colour) etc, slowly became more and more uniform. And, gradually after 1970, the International Nautical Chart series developed, by which almost full standardization was acquired. Herewith many of the former attractive elements in individual charts disappeared. Cancelled charts were usually destroyed and will become less and less available. The present author has been 'saving' such charts when attractive from a cartographic, nautical, hydrographic or simply an aesthetic point of view. His private collection consists of some 300 full charts and 200 (A0 size) chart extracts (just to show style, symbolization, lettering or particular details). Many charts stem from the British Admiralty (UK Hydrographic Office), but also from a number of other nationalities. As an introduction this article gives some background information and illustrates many varied examples of notable elements to be found in these charts. (back)
Peter van der Krogt
Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612)
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 4, pp. 123-127]
Jodocus Hondius lies almost entirely in the shadow of his illustrious predecessor Gerard Mercator. In 2012 extensive attention was given to the fact that Gerard Mercator was born 500 years earlier, but the death in 1612 of Jodocus Hondius was hardly remembered in a quadricentennial. A stamp of the Belgian Post (depicting Hondius with Mercator) and a lecture at the annual conference of the BIMCC in Brussels seem to have been the only Hondius activities in 2012. This year, 2013, it is 450 years since Hondius' birth: reason enough to devote a short contribution to the mapmaker who, along with the publisher Cornelis Claesz., is responsible for the beginning of atlas production in Amsterdam. (back)
Maps of the Holocaust
[Caert-Thresoor 32 (2013) 4, pp. 128-137]
The different studies of mapping the Holocaust rarely make use of contemporary maps. Surprisingly, while collecting WWII maps, hundreds of maps and topographical plans related to the identification, localisation, persecution and destruction of 'the Jews' were found. To analyse this geographical process on its ideological, political, economic and vital levels implies more than studying wartime maps and maps reconstructed from memory; also more than designing new maps. This is so, even though historical maps in GIS can visualise textual data and present underlying spatial patterns of which the interacting Nazis, victims and bystanders are only partially aware. Nonetheless, scholars in geography and Holocaust research would be wise to take all these levels of maps seriously. Contemporary maps are more than a means to locate old place names or just illustrations of regional contexts, and some of them carry a special aura because they bear witness to central parts of the Holocaust. These functions remain vital for tracing families and for publications and exhibitions. It is more important to investigate to what extent wartime maps were instrumental in the organisation of terror and of resistance. Spatial research and making maps played a prominent role in Nazi planning. The maps briefly commented upon in this article form only a small selection of the large amount of surviving cartographic material. Therefore, it is time to develop an international project which helps to localise, catalogue, digitise and connect the multitude of still extant maps related to the Holocaust. (back)
Laatst bijgewerkt op 2014-02-02