Abraham Goos & Pieter

Abraham Goos (1590–1643) was a well-respected engraver working in Amsterdam, who was employed by the major cartographic publishers of the day, including Hondius, Blaeu and most notably John Speed, for whom Goos engraved the maps for his world atlas, A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World. Late in the seventeenth century his son Pieter Goos would become renowned for his sea atlases and pilot guides.

The Nieuw Nederlandtsch Caertboeck, was the one and only atlas that Abraham Goos published. He had received the privilegio for the work on 24th December 1615 and an honorarium payment of 120 guilders form the States General on 8th January 1616, after which he engraved all the maps with cum privilegio”, the first edition being issued in the same year. Three subsequent editions were published: in 1619, 1625, and a re-issue by Hendrick Doncker in 1685.

Although Abraham’s son, Pieter Goos (1616–1675), was one of the best-known maritime booksellers of Amsterdam, responsible for publishing a number of different sea atlases, much of his work was derivative. In the case of the Zee-Atlas (1666), Goos copied nearly all the charts from Hendrick Doncker’s atlas of 1659.

Goos’s background was more as an engraver (following on from his father Abraham) and bookseller, rather than chartmaker. As a bookseller Pieter Goos wished to appeal as much to the library as to the galley, as can be seen by his explicit statement on the title page of the Zee-Atlas: that the work will be as beneficial to Heerenen Kooplieden” (gentlemen and merchants) as to Schippers en Stuurllieden” (pilots and seamen). This bias towards the gentleman’s library is also evident in the minimal revision that the atlas and charts undergo throughout their publication history. Similarly, the number of charts is not increased from the 40 or 41 called for in the contents page.