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Charles-Francois Delamarche (1740 – 1811)

was the most successful French cartographer and globemaker of the late 18th century. A lawyer by trade, Delamarche entered the map business in 1747 with the acquisition of Robert de Vaugondy‘s map plates and copyrights.

He prospered as a map publisher, acquiring most of the work from earlier generation cartographers Lattre, Bonne, Desnos, Janvier and especially de Vaugondy whose maps he re-worked and re-printed.

Delamarche styled himself the „successeur de MM. Sanson et Robert Vaugondy, Geographes du Roi et de M. Fortiin, Ingenieur-mecanicien du Roi pour les globes et les spheres“.

His work included celestial and terrestrial globes and he was the first French globemaker to aim his product directly at the commercial market. He succeeded not only by cheaply produced globes but also by re-working and re-printing maps of other cartographers, e.g. Robert Vaugondy. Charles-Francois was followed by his son Felix. The firm continued to publish maps and globes until the middle of the 19th century.

Size: 30 x 22 cm
Image: Original outline colouring
Year: 1806

Map details

This map is taken from the third edition of „Atlas Elementaire, Compose de XXXIII Cartes“, published by the author in Paris. What makes it special is that the depiction extends beyond the neatline of the map above in Lappland („Laponie“) and underneath in Denmark („Danemarck“).

The rectangular title cartouche is placed in the lower right corner including a distance scale („Echelle“). The map shows Scandinavia, the Baltic region, „Partie de Russie“ and „Russie“, including a pentagonal inset map in the upper left corner covering Iceland. The Arctic Circle is not marked at all.

„Islande“ is written across the depiction of the island. Along the coastline there are a few place names and only five in the interior: Hekla (highlighted as volcano) the bishoprics Skalholt and Holar („Hola“), the first with a church symbol, the second without, Myvatn and „Skreide“ (?)

Though the map is in French language there a two German words to be found near the Westman Islands south of the mainland: „Fischhafen“ (fish harbour) and „Geyr Vogel“ (Geirfugl in Icelandic, extinct great auk).