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The Mapping of North America

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MEIJER, Pieter

Algemeene Oefenschoole van Konsten en Weetenschappen

Pieter Meijer, vooraan op den Vygendam, Amsterdam, 1763-70
Octavo, two volumes (215 x 125 mm. each), modern half calf, speckled paper boards, ribbed spine with gilt calf titles to each volume, recent endpapers. Volume 1 with engraved frontispiece (not called for) laid down, pp. 104, 97-102, [105]-190, 1 leaf ‘191-198’, [1], [199]-528, [8] with 14 maps and 7 plates (including a plan of Bath and a large folding plan of London); Volume 2 with engraved frontispiece (not called for) laid down, pp. 523, [7] with 27 maps, a good example.
This work by Pieter Meijer is a Dutch translation of Benjamin Martin’s ‘The Natural History of England’ 1759-63. Similarly, it describes the counties and illustrates them with a series of county maps. Like the Martin, this two volume atlas forms only part of a larger thirty-one volume work. The title ‘Algemeene Oefenschoole van Konsten en Weetenschappen’ is translated as ‘General Academy of Arts and Sciences’. Published in parts like the Martin, we can deduce the maps were published between 1757 and 1770 from the dates present on each map. The open acknowledgement of Emanuel Bowen as originator of the maps might indicate some form of approval from Martin for the work. It does not appear to have been a commercial success judging by its rarity and the longevity of its availability. It was advertised for sale in 1789 by A. Blusse and Sons of Dordrecht. In 1802, it was offered by J. Allart in Amsterdam, L. Herdigh in Leiden and W. van Bergen in Breda who ‘through the purchase from the stock of the late P. Meyer, have become owners of this excellent and universally esteemed work’.

The engraver of the maps is Leonard Janszoon Schenck (1732-1800) whose name appears on the maps. The titles have been almost directly translated with the addition of a credit to Bowen and date of issue. That of Cornwall curiously misspells Emanuel Bowen as ‘Brown’. Some of the toponyms have also been translated. A third volume was issued in 1782 with a series of 18 maps of the world included regional ones of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Provenance: private English collection. Not in Chubb (1927); Hodson (1984-97) 260; Koeman (1967-70) Supplement Meij 2 & Meij 1; Shirley (2004) Mei 1a; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).
Stock number: 10185

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