Joseph Smith

(fl1709 - 1731)

In his own words, Joseph Smith sold “all sorts of Prints and Maps, cheap and Ornamental for furnishing Rooms, Stair-Cases and Closets… large Books of Prints, proper for publick Libraries, at reasonable Rates” (advertisement placed in the Post Boy, 8–10 Jan 1713). Many of the plates were imported from Italy and France. However, in partnership with Henry Overton, David Mortier, and Daniel Midwinter, Joseph Smith bought Leonard Knyff’s plates for Britannia illustrate, and reissued the collection of views of fine houses in 1709. Over the years, the book was augmented with additional views of houses, cathedrals and churches. A French language edition, Atlas Anglois, was published in 1724.

His next great venture was to publish Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus, sold by subscription from 1714. Smith gradually reduced his shares in the work until selling the final tranche in 1731, at which point he probably retired.