Bauerkeller & Company
The Bauerkeller firm of mapmakes is without question the most important and innovative maker of relief maps published in Europe in the 19th Century. The maps are the work of two brothers, working in two different countries (Germany and France) and utilizing several companies over a period between 1830 and 1880.The two brothers were both technical innovators and responsive to the commercial market, producing a large number of high quality and affordable topographic maps on a large scale.
Bauerkeller's production marks a new stage in the democratization of relief maps, and their maps . . . dominate[d] the new market created. The diversity of the maps produced and the international impact of these maps are unique in the history of relief mapping. The years 1840 to 1860 were a golden age for Bauerkeller companies, whose activity was gradually to decline with the end of the novelty appeal.
Born in Wertheim, Georg Bauerkeller would relocate to Paris in 1837, working as part of the firm of Bauerkeller & Gutsch, which quickly spilt and became Bauerkeller & Cie.
Bauerkeller & Cie was awarded a bronze medal at the 1839 industrial exhibition for its printing objects, particularly the relief city plans. The first plan of this type, from Paris, appeared in 1839. Bauerkeller won another bronze medal in 1844 and a silver medal in 1849. Following a request of 16 January 1839, Bauerkeller also obtained a patent on 13 July 1840 for the production of relief maps. . . .
The first of the relief maps that would make up the company's international reputation appeared in Paris in 1839:"environs de Paris en relief". The company will publish about twenty different relief maps during the 1840-1850 decade and about fifteen city maps . . . This period was particularly marked by the attempted counterfeiting of the company by a former employee and collaborator Obermüller who published two relief maps in 1843 and 1844 (France and Germany). . .