1818 Laurie and Whittle Case Map of Central Europe

Central Europe: Comprehending France and Austria, with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Hanover, Germany, Prussia, Northern Italy, and c. - Main View

1818 Laurie and Whittle Case Map of Central Europe


Map used by American politician Samuel Atkins Eliot on his 1821 'Grand Tour' of Europe.


Central Europe: Comprehending France and Austria, with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Hanover, Germany, Prussia, Northern Italy, and c.
  1818 (dated)     24.5 x 31 in (62.23 x 78.74 cm)     1 : 2896457


A fine example of Laurie and Whittle's 1818 map of central Europe, focusing mainly on France, the Netherland, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, an inset of Transylvania, Prussia, Switzerland, and Germany. Partially included are England, Spain, Italy, Turkey, the Balkans, Poland, and Denmark. All major towns and roads are identified as well as limited topographical features, with elevation rendered in hachure. The cartographers credit the work of French map publisher Pierre M. Lapie as the source for this map. First issued in 1816, this useful map is an example of the second edition published in 1818. Subsequent editions were issued in both atlas format and case, as in the present example. Such maps were popular with American tourists on the 'Grand Tour.'
Samuel A. Eliot
Unlike most antique maps, this map has a known provenance. It was used by the American politician Samuel Atkins Eliot (1798 - 1862) on his 1821 European tour. At various points in his career, Eliot served in the Massachusetts Senate, was the Mayor of Boston, and represented Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives. He was politically affiliated with the Whig party. Eliot traveled to Europe on the classic 'Grand Tour' in 1821. Sailing from Boston, he landed at the port of Liverpool, where he most likely acquired this map at the shop of W. Robinson, Castle Street. He traveled throughout England and Scotland before embarking for the continent several months later. Eliot landed in Dieppe and traveled to Paris, then south to Toulouse before turning eastward to Italy where he traveled as far south as Naples before turning north, to Switzerland, Germany, and Holland. From here he either returned to France or departed directly to England, and thence to Boston.


Laurie and Whittle (fl. 1794 - 1858) were London, England, based map and atlas publishers active in the late 18th and early 19th century. Generally considered to be the successors to the Robert Sayer firm, Laurie and Whittle was founded by Robert Laurie (c. 1755 - 1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818). Robert Laurie was a skilled mezzotint engraver and is known to have worked with Robert Sayer on numerous projects. James Whittle was a well-known London socialite and print seller whose Fleet Street shop was a popular haunt for intellectual luminaries. The partnership began taking over the general management of Sayer's firm around 1787; however, they did not alter the Sayer imprint until after Sayer's death in 1794. Apparently Laurie did most of the work in managing the firm and hence his name appeared first in the "Laurie and Whittle" imprint. Together Laurie and Whittle published numerous maps and atlases, often bringing in other important cartographers of the day, including Kitchin, Faden, Jefferys and others to update and modify their existing Sayer plates. Robert Laurie retired in 1812, leaving the day to day management of the firm to his son, Richard Holmes Laurie (1777 - 1858). Under R. H. Laurie and James Whittle, the firm renamed itself "Whittle and Laurie". Whittle himself died six years later in 1818, and thereafter the firm continued under the imprint of "R. H. Laurie". After R. H. Laurie's death the publishing house and its printing stock came under control of Alexander George Findlay, who had long been associated with Laurie and Whittle. Since, Laurie and Whittle has passed through numerous permeations, with part of the firm still extant as an English publisher of maritime or nautical charts, 'Imray, Laurie, Norie and Wilson Ltd.' The firm remains the oldest surviving chart publisher in Europe. More by this mapmaker...

Pierre M. Lapie (fl. 1779 - 1850) and his son Alexandre Emile Lapie (fl. 1809 - 1850) were French cartographers and engravers active in the early part of the 19th century. The Lapies were commissioned officers in the French army holding the ranks of Colonel and Capitan, respectively. Alexander enjoyed the title of "First Geographer to the King", and this title appears on several of his atlases. Both father and son were exceptional engravers and fastidious cartographers. Working separately and jointly they published four important atlases, an 1811 Atlas of the French Empire (Alexander), the 1812 Atlas Classique et Universel (Pierre), the Atlas Universel de Geographie Ancienne et Modern (joint issue), and the 1848 Atlas Militaire (Alexander). They also issued many smaller maps and independent issues. All of these are products of exceptional beauty and detail. Despite producing many beautiful maps and atlases, the work of the Lapie family remains largely underappreciated by most modern collectors and map historians. The later 19th century cartographer A. H. Dufour claimed to be a student of Lapie, though it is unclear if he was referring to the father or the son. The work of the Lapie firm, with its precise engraving and informational density, strongly influenced the mid-19th century German commercial map publishers whose maps would eventually dominate the continental market. Learn More...


Very good. Original linen backing fragile and split in places. Some pen marks relating to Samuel A. Elliot's 1821 voyage. Comes with original cardboard slipcase.