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Greece by Reinier & Josua Ottens 1725-50

The Ottens Family

Joachim Ottens (1663-1719), was a copper-engraver and the founder of the print- and mapsellers’ firm in Amsterdam. In 1710 he became a member of the art- and printsellers guild. After he died in 1719, his widow and the sons continued the business under the name “In de Wereldcaert” (In the world map). On the whole, the Ottens’s financial position was rather weak, and the stock was not very large.
In a notary contract dated 20 October 1726, the partnership between the two brothers, Reinier and Josua, was stipulated. Despite separate shops, the brothers’ partnership continued until the death of Renier in 1750.
After Joshua died in 1765, his widow continued the firm, together with her son, Renier II, until c. 1780.
The firm flourished mainly between 1719 and c. 1750. In that period, they advertised at various times the publication of new maps.
Ottens’s greatest fame comes from the voluminous atlases assembled to order. A small number of these so-called ‘Atlas factice’, splendid copies with gorgeous illumination, have survived. These collector’s copies are known to exist in 2, 6, 8, 11, and even 15 volumes. Ottens also published atlases in one volume, with a varying number of maps, pocket atlases, collections of military plans, and Renard’s atlas de la navigation.


Guillaume Delisle (Paris, 1675 – 1726)

Guillaume Delisle (de L’Isle), one of the key figures in the development of French cartography, is the son of Claude Delisle, a cartographer, and the half-brother of astronomers Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Louis de l'Isle de la Croyère.

While his father has to be given credit for educating Guillaume, the boy showed early signs of being an exceptional talent. He soon contributed to the family workshop by drawing maps for his father's historical works. To perfect his skills, Guillaume Delisle became the student of the astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini. Early on, he produced high-quality maps, the first being his Carte de la Nouvelle-France et des Pays Voisins in 1696. Delisle's first atlas appeared around 1700, and in 1702 he became a member of the French Académie Royale des Sciences. He taught geography to the young Louis XV, and in 1718 he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. On a commission from Peter the Great, he produced a map of the Caspian Sea, a region barely known. Many of the place names he gave are still in use. His Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) is the first detailed map of this region.

A six-year-long plagiarism trial pits Delisle against Jean-Baptiste Nolin, cartographer. It is Nolin, the real plagiarist, who loses.

Delisle has remained famous for his astronomical-based corrections and the completeness of its topography. The high scientific quality of the work produced by the Delisle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, Delisle constantly updated his maps to reflect widening knowledge of the world.

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Carte de la Grece.

€490  ($480.2 / £431.2)
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Item Number:  27699
Category:  Antique maps > Asia > Turkey - Cyprus
References: Zacharakis - 2525/1633

Old, antique map of Greece, by Reinier & Josua Ottens.

Title: Carte de la Grece.

Cartographer: G. Delisle.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 460 x 590mm (18.11 x 23.23 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: Original coloured, a few small stains.
Condition Rating: A
References: Zacharakis, 2525/1633

From: Ottens Composite Atlas. Amsterdam, R. & J. Ottens, 1725-50.

The Ottens Family

Joachim Ottens (1663-1719), was a copper-engraver and the founder of the print- and mapsellers’ firm in Amsterdam. In 1710 he became a member of the art- and printsellers guild. After he died in 1719, his widow and the sons continued the business under the name “In de Wereldcaert” (In the world map). On the whole, the Ottens’s financial position was rather weak, and the stock was not very large.
In a notary contract dated 20 October 1726, the partnership between the two brothers, Reinier and Josua, was stipulated. Despite separate shops, the brothers’ partnership continued until the death of Renier in 1750.
After Joshua died in 1765, his widow continued the firm, together with her son, Renier II, until c. 1780.
The firm flourished mainly between 1719 and c. 1750. In that period, they advertised at various times the publication of new maps.
Ottens’s greatest fame comes from the voluminous atlases assembled to order. A small number of these so-called ‘Atlas factice’, splendid copies with gorgeous illumination, have survived. These collector’s copies are known to exist in 2, 6, 8, 11, and even 15 volumes. Ottens also published atlases in one volume, with a varying number of maps, pocket atlases, collections of military plans, and Renard’s atlas de la navigation.


Guillaume Delisle (Paris, 1675 – 1726)

Guillaume Delisle (de L’Isle), one of the key figures in the development of French cartography, is the son of Claude Delisle, a cartographer, and the half-brother of astronomers Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Louis de l'Isle de la Croyère.

While his father has to be given credit for educating Guillaume, the boy showed early signs of being an exceptional talent. He soon contributed to the family workshop by drawing maps for his father's historical works. To perfect his skills, Guillaume Delisle became the student of the astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini. Early on, he produced high-quality maps, the first being his Carte de la Nouvelle-France et des Pays Voisins in 1696. Delisle's first atlas appeared around 1700, and in 1702 he became a member of the French Académie Royale des Sciences. He taught geography to the young Louis XV, and in 1718 he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. On a commission from Peter the Great, he produced a map of the Caspian Sea, a region barely known. Many of the place names he gave are still in use. His Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) is the first detailed map of this region.

A six-year-long plagiarism trial pits Delisle against Jean-Baptiste Nolin, cartographer. It is Nolin, the real plagiarist, who loses.

Delisle has remained famous for his astronomical-based corrections and the completeness of its topography. The high scientific quality of the work produced by the Delisle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, Delisle constantly updated his maps to reflect widening knowledge of the world.

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