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Novissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula
[Amsterdam: Jansson, circa 1679]. Copper-engraved map with original colouring. In good condition, with some expert repairs to center fold and adjacent splits. 19 3/4 x 23 inches. A beautifully coloured double- hemisphere map from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography This richly coloured and ornamented world map appeared at the zenith of Dutch mapmaking when aesthetics and geographical science played equal parts in cartography. The rich marginal surround of seasonal and astrological figures so handsomely and cleverly constructed here was intended to be both beautiful and meaningful, placing the world in a larger, cosmological context, the way we would now in maps of the solar system. The zodiacal circuit, fancifully depicted and actually not strictly in sequence, represents the succession of months and years, as well as the supernatural element in the course of events. Geographically, this is the world as known to the most active seafarers of the 17th century, and represents the stunning national achievement. It is a monument to both Renaissance open-mindedness and to the emerging Dutch nation. The image of Australia and the Pacific, for instance, is based on knowledge gained during Abel Tasman's mid-17th century voyage. The world map invariably appeared at the beginning of an atlas and served to indicate the importance of the undertaking and the high aesthetic standard to which it was conducted. It was also a statement of pride in civilized accomplishment. The world, so it seemed, belonged to those who understood what it was and what it looked like. One looked to the maps inside the atlas to see what was known in detail. So the world map was intended to serve not so much for general information as it was to establish a tone, a sense of the importance of the momentous change in man's understanding and possibilities that had occurred. For nearly a century the Visscher family dominated Amsterdam's map trade. Claez Jansz Visscher (1587-1652) founded the business at the beginning of the seventeenth century, establishing the firm near the workshop of the great Dutch publisher Pieter van der Keere. At this time he produced a few separately published maps but his first major atlas was completely comprised of maps printed from van der Keere's old plates. The business was continued by Visscher's son and grandson who went by the names Nicholaes Visscher I (1618-1679) and Nicholaes Visscher II (1649-1702). During their lifetimes they issued a great quantity of atlases, which they consistently updated and revised with the latest cartographic discoveries. Elizabeth Visscher, the widow of Nicholaes II, continued the business after her husband's death and published both an Atlas Minor and an Atlas Major in many revised editions. The business eventually was acquired by Peter Schenk (1660-1718), who continued to republish the Visscher plates until his death in 1718. Shirley World 486.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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