The basis for all modern chart making of the area’

By GEDDA, Peter, 1695 

A General and different Special Sea-Charts of the whole of the East-Sea and the Schagerrack.

  • Author: GEDDA, Peter
  • Publication place: Amsterdam
  • Publication date: 1695 [but 1699].
  • Physical description: Folio (540 by 320mm), title, list of charts and advertisement, 12 double-page engraved charts, list of charts with manuscript additions, some charts with minor repairs and abrasions, later panelled brown calf, red morocco label lettered in gilt to upper cover.
  • Inventory reference: 18456


Peter Gedda (1661–1697), Swedish surveyor and chart maker, began his carrier under Vice-Admiral Werner von Rosenfeldt, who in 1680 had been tasked in overseeing the education of sailing masters, organising the kingdom’s piloting service, and having a nice chart of the whole Baltic Sea drawn up”. Gedda was taken on as his assistant in 1681 and put in charge of gaining information on the Baltic coast, from existing charts and maps. An order was sent out to all Governor Generals whose land had areas of coastline, to send any useful charts and maps to Gedda. Unfortunately, progress was so slow — they had not received any charts or maps by the end of 1684 — that Gedda, frustrated, left to become a land surveyor in Uppland. Rosenfeldt pleaded for his return, and in 1687, Gedda was given the title of Director of Navigation, and took over the reigns from Rosenfeldt, who had rather dramatically fallen out of favour.

Despite Rosenfeldt’s demotion, he and Gedda would work closely on the surveying work carried out for the pilot, although his statement in the foreword that he and Rosenfeldt spent 15 years togther surveying the Batlic coast, must be taken with a pinch of salt.

By 1694 the ten charts were complete and ready for engraving. As the Swedish Admiralty had not officially backed the project, it was left to Gedda and Rosenfeldt to finance its publication, and in that year they travelled to Amsterdam to seek an engraver and publisher. The plates were engraved by Anthoni de Winter over the winter of 1694, and printed by Jacob Robijn, the successor to Pieter Goos. Three editions of the atlas were printed, one in Swedish, another in Dutch, and, as in the present example, English.

Although Gedda and Rosenfeldt had been granted a ten year privilege in Amsterdam for the pilot, this did not stop acts of plagiarism and piracy, with both Johannes Loots and Hendrik Doncker realising pilots based on Gedda’s work. A furious Rosenfeldt (Gedda had passed away in 1696), returned to Amsterdam in 1698, seized the plates, printing press, and enough paper for 2000 copies and headed back to Stockholm. The following year both Doncker and Loots were found guilty of plagiarism and fined 300 guilders.

In 1699, a second editon was issued containing 12 charts. The two new additions being one general chart of the Baltic Sea by Gedda, and another of the North Sea drawn by the naval officer Carl Eldberg. After the death of Rosenfeldt in 1710, individual plates were issued by his daughter. In 1721, she gave the plates to King Fredrik I, who planned to print another edition, however nothing came of this and the plates remain in the Swedish Maritime Administration in Norrkoping.

The present example is a rare first edition in English, with the addition of the two later charts. The only other institutional copies are held at Royal Danish Library; Polish National Library; Riksarkivet, Sweden; National Library of Sweden; Amsterdam University Library.

List of Charts
1. GEDDA, Peter. A Mercators-Chart of the East Sea… 1694.
2. GEDDA, Peter. A Mercator’s Chart of the whole Noorth-Bothom… 1695.
3. GEDDA, Peter. A Cahrt of the Schaer-Rack… 1695
4. GEDDA, Peter. A Chart of one Part of the East-Sea… 1695.
5. GEDDA, Peter. A Chart of another part of the East-Sea… 1695.
6. GEDDA, Peter. A Chart of one side of the East-Sea… 1695.
7. GEDDA, Peter. A Chart of another side of the East Sea to wit the Finish Botom… 1695.
8. GEDDA, Peter. A Chart of a part of the East Sea from Sand-haven until Riga… 1695.
9. GEDDA, Peter. A Chart at large continuing the Liedt of Stockholm… 1695.
10. GEDDA, Peter. Special Pass hartor ofwer Fahrwatnet ath Lybeck… 1695.
11. GEDDA, Peter. A General Chart of the East-Sea and Schager-Rack… 1695.
12. ELDBERG, Carl. Een ny Forbattyrat General Pascharta ofster Norr Sion… 


  1. Ehrensvard, Ulla, Peter Gedda’s Maritime Atlas of the Baltic, 1695, Imago Mundi vol. 29 (1977), p 75–77
  2. Koeman Ged 2
  3. Ehresnvard, Ulla, The History of the Nordic Map, Helsinki, 2006, pp. 270–283.

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