94 Aristide Michel Perrot 1823


Few county maps are available from foreign atlases. One of the most curious, but also most attractive, maps of Devon is that by the French geographer, Aristide Perrot (1793-1879) and published in L’Angleterre ou Description Historique et Topographique, a geographical work by G B Depping. The maps are very small and with little detail; only about thirty towns and the larger rivers are named but hills are hachured, although these are shown as a single, continuous range from Plymouth to Combe Martin. The whole of the sea is shaded and Bristol Channel is named; Lyme Bay is shown as B. D’EXETER. The map is approximately one-third of the engraving. The rest shows produce of the area above the map, and possible features of the county below. However the products, eg wheat, hare and slates lead one to believe the engraver was using a little bit of poetic licence!

L’Angleterre was a miniature (12mo) atlas in several volumes with a total of 75 maps and views. There were three editions, only the first edition has been seen with page numbers. Although the map is as described below, with both page number (P.59) and volume number (with T for Tome followed by a Roman numeral, ie T. V.), these are not always present. The BL example has page numbers and volume numbers only in Vol. I and Clive Burden’s copy only has volume numbers1. Sometimes the page was cut at the point where these were engraved, which was approximately 122 mm above the signatures. There seem to have been two editions published in Paris, the second edition being issued in 1828 and then reprinted in 1835. However, when the work was published in Brussels it was issued as the third edition (1828).

George Bernard Depping (1784-1833), a German writer, was born in Munster, moved to Paris and took French citizenship. The engraver was probably Adrien Migneret (1786-1840) of Paris2. Aristide Michel Perrot specialized in miniature maps. He was a member of the Société royale académique des sciences and of the Société de géographie. He produced a large number of miniatre atlases such as Atlas Portatif du Royaume de France, divisé en 86 départements (1823), Atlas des Departments de la France (1825), Atlas des Routes de France (1826), Nouvel itinéraire portatif des Pays-Bas (1827) and Atlas Général de France (1837).3

Size of engraved area: 115 x 65 mm.                                                                                                                                  Scale 1M = 0.7 mm.

Map area: 45 x 45 mm.

DEVON. No borders. Imprint: A. M. Perrot 1823 (Ae) and signature: Me. Migneret Sc. (Ee). Volume number T. V. (Aa) and page number P. 59 (Ea) where visible (see text). 

1. 1823  L’Angleterre ou Description Historique et Topographique du Royaume Uni de la Grand Bretagne par G. B. Depping  
    Paris. Etienne Ledoux. 1824.  BL.
    L’Angleterre ou Description Historique. Seconde Edition.  
    Paris. Etienne Ledoux. 1828. W.
    L’Angleterre ou Description Historique. Troisieme Edition.  
    Bruxelles. L J Brohez. 1828. C, CB.
    LÀngleterre ou Description Historique. Seconde Edition.  
    Paris. Etienne Ledoux. 1835. AY.

[1] Dr Almond has pointed out that all four variations are seen: with both page and volume number; with only page number; with only volume number; and, finally, with neither page nor volume reference. Alan Yates has an 1824 edition with neither, however, his copy dated 1835 has both page and volume number. If the marks are printed on the plate this would imply other "states"; but as the map detail itself is never altered only one "state" is given. The author has seen Devon in three different "variations"; but some show trimming inside the total print area (map plus page/volume numbers).

[2] David Kingsley; Printed Maps of Sussex; Sussex Record Society; 1982.

[3] .Information from website www.antiquemapsandprints.com/ run by Antiqua Print Gallery of London.