Trade card with a miniature map of Georgian Islington
By BAKER, Benjamin , 1798

Benj. Baker Engraver... N.B. Maps, Charts, & c. Accurately Engrav’d.

British Isles London
  • Author: BAKER, Benjamin
  • Publication place: Islington
  • Publisher: Near the Thatch'd House, Lower Street
  • Publication date: c1798-1800
  • Physical description: Engraved trade card.
  • Dimensions: 115 by 75mm (4.5 by 3 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 3105


Benjamin Baker’s (1766-1841) trade card includes a detailed miniature map of Islington, where he had premises from at least 1791-1800. A key to the upper right lists schools, religious houses, alms houses, and a turnpike road.

Baker became a prolific producer of engraved maps from the late eighteenth century onwards, including for William Faden. As a map engraver and publisher, he resided first at 32 High Street, Islington from 1791-1793 and then in Lower Street, Islington from 1798-1800. In 1804, he became principal engraver to the Ordnance Survey and he and his firm were regarded as “the best topographical engravers in Europe” (Seymour). There he worked with his three sons: Benjamin Richard (1792-1876), one of the initial surveyors who did the Survey of Ireland from 1824–1845; Alfred (1797-1878); and George (1804-1876).

From a long line of instrument-makers, including his grandfather Edward (1705-1779) and his uncle Benjamin (1737-1821), the young Benjamin was initially apprenticed to watchmaker, Thomas Beresford, in 1782, but soon switched allegiance to map-engraver William Palmer. His great grandmother was the daughter of Benjamin Cole (1667-1729), an engraver and bookbinder of Oxford. She was also the younger sister of Benjamin Cole (1695-1766), mathematical instrument-maker of Fleet Street, London. His elder sister, Mary, married John Newton of the globe-making family; and his eldest brother, Edward (1757-before 1836), became a mathematical-instrument-maker of New Street, Fetter Lane.


  1. BM Banks 59.7, for earlier trade card.