13 Pieter van den Keere 1648


In 1628 Jan Jansson had a series of new miniature plates engraved - some by Abraham Goos, others by Pieter van den Keere - for his Atlas Minor. These new plates with 17 British regional maps, otherwise similar to those of Jodocus Hondius, were then printed in nine editions of Jansson’s Atlas Minor from 1628 to 1651. In the German edition of 1648 eight maps of English counties were added1 These maps, all copying John Speed (pre-1623), were from plates by van den Keere who had already produced one series of miniature county maps (4). Pieter van den Keere died c.1646 so the maps must have been engraved some time before publication.

Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) acquired the plates and printed from these for his Nouveau Petit Atlas published in Leyden in 1712. Judging by the obvious erasures from the plate another elaborate title must have been engraved, on an as yet unidentified state, sometime between 1651 and 1712. One can also see some of the old cursive script (the OF of Part of Somerset).

A Dutchman from Leyden, van der Aa produced a number of world atlases, some in several volumes, in the first half of the eighteenth century. The maps relating to the British counties were published in the fourth section of the Petit Atlas. The twenty-six maps in this section, which is devoted to Great Britain and Ireland, also include maps of the Irish counties, northern and southern Scotland, each country on its own as well as one map of the whole British Isles. Maps printed from these plates were being sold as late as 1738 by Covens and Mortier and later by another Amsterdam publisher Gerrit Tielenberg although a map of Devon has not been found.


Size 155 x 202 mm.    Milliaria Anglica (12 = 32 mm).

DEVONIAE DESCRIPTIO. Signature: Petrus Kaerius Caelavit. Running header VON ENGELANDT above the top border centrally 600 mm in length and page number 35 (EaOS). Printer’s mark (F2) betweeen Start Point and title frame.2 (Reverse has German text from Camden.)


1. 1648  Atlas minor Gerardi Mercatoris (KB).3
    Amsterdam. J Jansson. 1648, 1651. KM Me203, [NYPL]; 
2 1651 Title VON ENGELANDT now 800 mm. Printer’s mark at Start Point.  
    Atlas minor Gerardi Mercatoris  
    Amsterdam. J Jansson. 1651. KM Me204, BL, (KB).
3. 1712 Title is erased and replaced by Comté de Devon in elaborated half-panel (Ee). Page number, running header and engraver´s signature erased. Scale is altered to Lieues d’Angleterre in small panel (Ea). The border has the inner line graduated, longitude reading from West - 26o30 to 29o20. The names of the adjoining areas are now in Roman script and in French. (DEI).
    L’Atlas Soulagé de son gros et pesant fardeau Part IV  
    Leyden. P van der Aa. 1712. KM Aa5, [Leyden].
4. 1729 The map has an engraved frame around with imprint A Leide, Chez Pierre vander Aa Avec Privilege. Total size 230 x 395 mm  (KB)
    La Galérie Agréable Du Monde Vol.10, No.17  
    Leyden. P van der Aa. 1729. KM Aa9, BL4, BnF 


[1] The authors are grateful to Raymond Frostick for information relating to these maps and providing an illustration of state 3.

[2] Dr Almond pointed out that the title and the possible printer’s marks vary in position and were very likely added using moveable type after printing of the map.

[3] This map was taken from a 1651 atlas (title page has been seen) but could have been old stock being used up.  Unfortunately the atlas was broken by a German dealer and the contents could not be thoroughly checked.

[4] Map is unnumbered in BL copy but number 30, numbered 17 by Koeman. BnF copy (National Library of France) is depicted on their website. Here it is Plate 30 in Volume 40 (of 68).