ARROWSMITH, Aaron (1750-1823)
[Map of the World on a Globular Projection, Exhibiting Particularly the Nautical Researches of Capn. James Cook, F.R.S. with all the Recent Discoveries to the Present Time, ... This Map Is Respectfully Dedicated To Alexander Dalrymple Esqr. F.R.S. In Testimony of his many New and Valuable Geographical Communications To His most Obedient and very Humble Servant A. Arrowsmith]
[London: Compiled and Published by Aaron Arrowsmith, 1799]. Engraved double-hemispheric world map, printed on four sheets and joined to form a pair of large folding sheets (one of each hemisphere), period hand-colouring in outline. On wove paper watermarked J. Ruse. (Expert restoration along the folds). Sheet size: approximately 39 3/4 x 74 inches, if joined.
A fine large-scale world map incorporating the discoveries made on Captain Cook's voyages, compiled and published by one of the greatest English cartographers.
This map was first issued in 1794 and was one of the maps which made Arrowsmith's reputation. The map shows both hemispheres on a large scale and with impressive detail. Notably, the chart shows the tracks of all three of Cook's voyages, as well as information gleaned from other world travellers (for example, discoveries by Mackenzie and Hearne in the Canadian Arctic).
The map was corrected and re-issued in 1799 (as here), 1808 and 1814. The present example is from the 1799 plates, but without the title and dedication which were printed on separate sheets and are sometimes are found trimmed and mounted onto the map when when joined as a single wall map. Stevens and Tree identify the above four issues based on the imprints; this copy without that information, but can be dated to the 1799 issue cartographically, i.e. with Bass Strait present and named between Australia and Tasmania, and with no indication of the Louisiana Purchase.
Aaron Arrowsmith was the founder of one of the leading London map publishing houses in the early part of the nineteenth century. He came to London about 1770 from Durham, his birthplace, and worked as a surveyor for John Cary for whom he carried out some of the road surveys which subsequently appeared in Cary's Travellers' Companion in 1790. In that year he set up his own business in Long Acre and soon established an international reputation. "Aaron Arrowsmith, Hydrographer to the King of England and Geographer to the Prince of Wales, was the most influential and respected map publishers of the first quarter of the nineteenth century ... His role in cartographic production was to gather the best information available from a wide variety of sources, weigh the relative merits of conflicting data, and compile from this the most accurate depiction possible of an area. Arrowsmith accomplished this synthesis better than any other commercial map maker of his day and, as a result, his maps were the most sought after and highly prized on three continents" (Martin & Martin, p. 113). Arrowsmith specialized in monumental multi-sheet maps. These were generally separately issued and are now very scarce.
Stevens & Tree, "Comparative Cartography" 91b, in Tooley, The Mapping of America ; cf. Rumsey 30; cf. Beddie 514.