Count Erik Dahlberg was a Swedish soldier, engineer and author, the founder of the Swedish engineer corps. Born in Stockholm, as a young man he studied the science of fortification. He served a critical role during Sweden ‘s many military adventures, including the Thirty Years’ War, and from 1676 served as director-general of fortifications until retiring with distinction in 1702. Meanwhile, he assembled a fine collection of drawings eventually published as Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna [Ancient and Modern Sweden] and assisted Samuel Pufendorf in his Histoire de Charles X Gustave. He also wrote a memoir of his life and an account of the campaigns of Charles X.
The work on the plates for Suecia progressed over several decades between 1668 and 1715, mainly executed by French and Dutch artists and engravers, who were more technically advanced than their Swedish counterparts. Dahlberg visited Paris in 1667-1668 and engaged Jean Le Pautre, Jean Marot, Nicolas and Adam Perelle and F. Campion to produce some 70 plates picturing Stockholm, Uppland and Södermanland. Le Pautre also engraved the title page. The Swedish government later decided to move production to Sweden, and the major contribution to the project was the work of two Dutch engravers, Willem Swidde and Johannes Aveelen, who engraved 223 plates altogether. Between 1688 and 1696, Swidde produced 84 plates including a map and 10 landscapes. Aveelen arrived from Holland in 1698 and worked on Suecian until 1715, producing 144 plates, 20 major ornamental elements and five signed drawings that he also engraved. A few plates were produced by other engravers.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Paper somewhat cockled. Views with central vertical fold as issued.
“Erik Dahlberg.” NationMaster.com. 2003. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Erik-Dahlberg (1 April 2004).
Scherman, Anne. “Läs om Suecia antiqua et hodierna.” Kungl. biblioteket. [Swedish Royal Library]. 17 September 2003. http://www.kb.se/suecia/default.asp (1 April 2004).