John Gibson (1724 – 1772)
was an important English cartographer and skilled engraver. Son of a locksmith, he was apprenticed to the Worshipful Company of Stationers in London and continued until 1748 when he started his own business. Gibson proved a talented geographer and engraver who produced numerous maps, especially for books and other publications (for example the „Gentleman’s Magazine“). He established collaborations with other map sellers such as Emanuel Bowen. Gibson engraved maps for Bowen’s pocket atlas „The Atlas Minimus“ (1758). Little is known about his life beyond his publications, with one exception. Gibson was not as astute in his fiscal affairs as with the engravers pen and consequently spent much of his life consigned to debtor‘s prison.
This rare miniature map is from „Atlas Minimus“ and shows Scandinavia, the Baltic, „Part of Russia“ and Iceland. The title cartouche is placed in the upper left corner just above the depiction of Iceland. In the „Norwegean Sea“ unusual „References“ are to be found which geographically mark locations to avoid too many place-names on the map.
Additionally there are short depictions of Sweden and Norway in the lower left corner.
There is only little information in the depiction of Iceland. Only Skalholt and Holar, the bishoprics and Hekla are named. The Arctic Circle is placed nearly correctly.