Josef Johann Earl Ferraris
Chorographical map of the Austrian Netherlands; board VIII [Brussels]
Engraving on copper by L.A. Dupuis, after 1777
National Geographic Institute
The map of Ferraris from 1777 is known by the public since the publication of facsimiles of the manuscript copy dedicated to Charles de Lorraine.
This very detailed map served as a basis for a reduced-scale engraving of a "commercial" version designed for sale.
The 25 copper matrices of this highly reputed work were seized by the French in 1794 in Mechelen where the workshop of Ferraris was located. We owe them the addition of a metric scale in the lower margin.
The collection was exploited for military purposes by the Dépôt de la Guerre français (France's military archive and cartography department).
In 1816, the daughter of the Count de Ferraris, who lived in Paris, obtained the restitution and sold all of it to the king of the Netherlands, a new invader of our country.After 1830, Belgium never ceased to claim this map from the Netherlands, who restored it to the NGI in 1949.