Johannes Covens

Johannes Covens

Johannes Covens (1697-1774) was a Dutch geographic publisher based in Amsterdam. He is best known for his collaboration with fellow publisher Cornelis Mortier (1699-1783). Pierre Mortier the Elder (1661-1711) had obtained a privilege in 1690 to distribute the works of French geographers in the Netherlands. After his widow continued the business for several years, Cornelis took over in 1719.

In 1721, Mortier forged a partnership with Covens, who had recently married Cornelis’ sister. They published under the joint name of Covens & Mortier. In 1774, upon the death of his father, Johannes Covens II (1722-1794) took over his father’s share. In 1778, the company changed its name to J. Covens & Zoon, or J. Covens & son.

Covens II’s son, Cornelis (1764-1825), later inherited the business and brought Petrus Mortier IV back into the fold. Petrus was the great-grandson of Petrus Mortier I. From 1794, the business was called Mortier, Covens & Zoon, or Mortier, Covens, & Son.

The business specialized in publishing French geographers including Deslisle, Jaillot, and Sanson. They also published atlases, for example a 1725 reissue of Frederik de Wit’s Atlas Major and an atlas, with additions, from the works of Guillaume Delisle. There were also Covens & Mortier pocket atlases and town atlases. The company profited from acquiring plates from other geographers as well. For example, the purchased Pieter van der Aa’s plates in 1730. Finally, they also compiled a few maps in house. At their height, they had the largest collection of geographic prints ever assembled in Amsterdam.


1720 - Carte Des Indes et de la Chine Dressee sur plusieurs Relations particulieres Rectifees par quelques Observations Par Guillaume De L'Isle de l'Academie Royale des Sciences . . .

  • $14.99

Fine, Detailed Map of Eastern Asia Notable example of this meticulously-drawn map of East Asia and the Indian subcontinent published in Amsterdam. The map is based upon the earlier work of the famed geographer Guillaume De L'Isle. It covers much of...


1725 - Carte des Cotes de Malabar et de Coromandel . . .

  • $14.99

Finely Detailed Map of Southern India Emphasizing Trade Finely engraved map of the southern part of India, first issued in 1723 by acclaimed French mapmaker Guillaume De L’Isle. It focuses on trade routes within India, as well as the Coromandel and...


1700 - Armenia Vetus In Quatuor Partes distincta ad Tepora Iustiniana Imp. . . .

  • $14.99

Scarce and highly detailed map of Ancient Armenia by Covens & Mortier, based upon an earlier map by Philippe De La Rue. One of the earliest printed maps to focus on Armenia.


1732 - Carte Du Congo Et Du Pays De Cafres . . .

  • $9.99

Strikingly engraved and detailed map of South Africa and Madagascar, with extensive notes regarding the local tribes, geography, mines, rivers, mountains, etc. One of the most attractive and scientifically detailed maps of the region published during...


1721 - Planisphaerium Coeleste

  • $14.99

Rare separately published double hemisphere celestial map, first published in Amsterdam by Frederick De Wit in 1680, and here reissued by Covens & Mortier in 1721. An exceptionally decorative, oversized, very rare celestial chart, produced by...