Jacobus Robijn first registered as a bookseller in Amsterdam on the 26th of January 1674. Self-described as “Afsetter, Kaert- en Kunstverkkooper, in de Nieuwebrughs Steegh, in de Stuurman” (1677); and “Konst Verkooper in de Nieuwe-Brug-Steeg, in de Stuurman” (1689, 1690), in Amsterdam, on the same street as his rival Hendrik Doncker.
Robijn is best known for publishing lavish examples of other people’s works. The earliest of these include Willem Blaeu’s large and important chart of the Atlantic Ocean, the ‘West Indische Paskaert’, the plate of which he owned between 1674 and c1678.
In 1679, Robijn is briefly recorded as being in partnership with Johannes van Keulen to produce a new set of charts. However, the relationship foundered and van Keulen began to issue the ‘Zee-Fakkel’, solely under his own name, in 1680.
Robijn subsequently published editions of Pieter Goos’s ‘Zee-Atlas’, 1683; and Arent Roggeveen’s exceedingly rare sea pilot ‘Het Brandende Veen’, or ‘The Burning Fen’, 1687, presumably having bought the original plates from Pieter Goos’s son, Henrik, in 1680; some of which he altered or completely re-engraved, adding some twenty new charts of his own. In 1686, Robijn acquired a privilegio for his charts, which he soon proudly added to his engravings.
After Robijn’s death, sometime between 1707–1717, the plates for the ‘Burning Fen’ were acquired by the chart-seller Johannes Loots (1665–1726), who added his imprint to the majority of the charts and published an English edition in 1717.