Riding the wave


Robiquet and the mapping business

Following the Restoration, the Dépôt, submitted governmental official charts to a careful revision of their formal features and hydrographic data, while increasing the production of nautical documents, and sales through appointed agents. Towards the middle of the century L'Entrepôt Général was the body responsible for the sale to the public, directed by Robiquet, of whom we have very little information.

It is known that, in addition to carrying out that public service, he was also a commercial publisher, resident - between 1840 and the end of the sixties - in Paris, at Rue Pavée Saint-André des Artes No. 2, "à l'Entrepôt Général des Cartes de la Marine," because such information is stated on the maps and texts he published at that time. From his works published after 1868 he appears to have moved to Quai des Orfèvres, 6.

Atlas Hydrographique The front page of his Atlas Hydrographique
(Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute)

He published a bulky Atlas / Hydrographique / comprenant / les Côtes d'Europe, d'Asie et d'Afrique / sur l'Océan Atlantique, la Mer des Indes et l'Océan Pacifique / Les Côtes des Etats-Unis, le Golfe du Mexique et les Antilles / Les Côtes du Brézil et de la Patagonia / Les Côtes du Chili, du Pérou et de l'Amérique Centrale / à l'usage des Officiers de la Marine Marchande, des Armateurs et des Assureurs Maritimes / Redigé & Publié par Robiquet, hydrographe, / Paris / Rue Cavée St. André des Artes in No. 2 / 1856 / Edition du 1861 / Girault scripsit et sculpsit. (Genoa, Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute)

It is a nautical atlas of 75 charts, 900 x 620 mm on sheets of 1040 x 710 mm folded in half. The title is composed in the typical commercial style, lavishly decorated with flourishes and ornaments. A central oval "Dessiné et gravé par Alès", represents a stormy sea crossed by vessels and boats, with a lighthouse in the background and a harbour at the foot of a high cliff, i.e., symbols emblematic of the dangers at sea and aids to navigation.

Carte du Canal St. Georges Carte du Canal St. Georges ou Mer d'Irlande
par le cap..e F.W. Beechey, Paris 1852,

(Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute)

On the front page of the Atlas Hydrographique Robiquet gives himself the title of "hydrographer", while on the charts he appears as "Libraire Hydrographe. The charts, however, are designed and engraved by Girault - who is also the author of the coastal views - while some charts are made "D'après les derniers documents français & anglais.

The Atlas includes some large uncommon charts of Java and a beautiful chart of the Irish Sea, full of nautical information. It was originally made by F.W. Beechey who in 1826, had surveyed the island of Pitcairn in the Pacific, and there he had found John Adams - by then over sixty - the last survivor of the mutineers of the Bounty, who had eventually landed on the island.

Paola Presciuttini, 2002