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Holland by C.J. Visscher. 1633

The title appears in the centre of the top border below the coat of arms of the County of Holland. To the left of the bottom centre is a cartouche decorated with a fisherman and containing the legend of symbols, the scale and the imprint. The map engraver Abraham Goos is mentioned to the left of this cartouche. West is at the top; a compass rose is shown in the North Sea and the Zuiderzee.
The map is framed on all sides by decorative borders. The top border shows two town views, Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, and scenes with wind-powered wagons on the beach and an ice sledge. The bottom border delineates the town views of Rotterdam and Hoorn and archaeological sites. Finally, the side borders show costumed figures, town views and coats of arms.
For the border decoration, the etcher copied well-known motifs from older maps. The drawings of the wind-powered wagons and ice sledge are based on those on Visscher's 1622 Leo Hollandicus; the female figure at the far right in the scene at the upper right, and the two female figures at the lower right, are based on similar figures at the upper right of the same map. Prints by Jan van de Velde served as the models for other figures in the corner scenes. Seven town views (Dordrecht, Delft, Gouda, Alkmaar, Haarlem, Leiden and Den Briel) were copied from those by Claes Jansz Visscher on Willem Jansz's 1608 map.
The geographical content of this Visscher map still derives from Van Deventer's mapping, even though the new wall map by Balthasar Florisz van Berckenrode, with entirely new geographical content, had already been published in 1621. The engraver of the Visscher map generally copied the 1608 Willem Jansz map but made some minor alterations in the northern part of Holland.
Abraham Goos engraved the map; the decorative borders were etched in Visscher's workshop. The map is mentioned as Hollandia Comitatus in Nicolaas Visscher's c. 1682 stock list in the section Landtkaarten van 1 Bladt, met Cieraden. This is one of five copies of the second state listed by Schilder.


The Visscher Family

For nearly a century, the members of the Visscher family were important art dealers and map publishers in Amsterdam.

Claes Jansz. Visscher, or N.J. Piscator (1587-1652)

Claes Jansz. Vischer bought a house in Amsterdam, 'de gulden Bors', on the important Kalverstraat and changed the name into "In de Visscher" and it was under this title that the shop was to flourish for many years.
He was famous for his engravings and etchings of Dutch landscape and of 'historical scenes', such as sieges, battles, etc. These 'historical scenes' were considered as contemporary illustrated news items, especially, e.g., that of 'the Eighty Years' War'.
For the publication of his first atlas, he bought copperplates of the atlas Germania Inferior by Pieter van den Keere (1623).
In 1649, he published an atlas entitled Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum, containing the same maps as Langenes' Caert Thresoor, for which Visscher had only new title-pages engraved.
Claes Jansz. Visscher died in 1652. His wife, Neeltjen Florisdr., had already died in 1640. They had seven children, four of whom were still alive at Claes Jansz.'s death. One of them was Nicolaes Visscher I, who was to continue his father's business.

Nicolaes Visscher I (1618-1679)

Nicolaes Visscher I entered into a partnership with his father and continued the business and stayed on the Kalverstraat 'in de Visscher' till his death.
About 1657, the first edition appeared of his Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum.
Between 1664 and 1677, several editions of his Atlas Contractus appeared without a printed index, for these atlases had no fixed contents, but were composed according to the buyer's financial leaping-pole.
In May 1664, Nicolaes Visscher was admitted as a member of the Booksellers' Guild of his town. In July 1677, he was granted a patent of the States of Holland and West-Friesland for the printing and publishing of maps and atlases for a period of 15 years.
After this, he again published an Atlas Contractus, this time with a printed index. At about the same time, he also brought out an Atlas Minor.

Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702)

Nicolaes Visscher II inherited the 'shop' from his father. To obtain a new privilege he applied to the States of Holland and West-Friesland in 1682, for a patent for printing and publishing maps. This patent was granted to him the same year. He moved the firm to the Dam, but it kept the same signboard: "In de Visscher".
Around 1683, he published his first Atlas Minor with a printed index of 91 maps. In 1684, an atlas Germania Inferior appeared. Till 1697 he published another number of atlases. He used his grandfather's (Claes Jansz.) maps less often now and relied more and more on his own.
The wars waged in this time initiated the compilation of maps of the countries where the armies were operating. Many maps of war were included in the various editions of his Atlas Minor.
After Nicolaes' death, his wife, Elizabeth Verseyl, published all the maps of war in the form of an atlas under the title: De Stoel des Oorlogs in de Wereld (The seat of war in the world).

The widow of Nicolaes Visscher II (?-1726)

His widow continued the business energetically, and by her hand, under the name of her deceased husband, numerous atlases appeared, e.g., several editions of the Atlas Minor, an Atlas Maior and De Stoel des Oorlogs. The shop enjoyed a high reputation owing to the great variety of the assortment. Not only 'Visscher' maps, but also maps of other publishers were obtainable. With the death of Elizabeth Verseyl, in 1726, the last descendant died of a great map- and atlas-publishing firm in Amsterdam.

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Comitatus Hollandia

€3500  ($3640 / £3045)
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Item Number:  2748
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > The Netherlands
References: Schilder 6 - 73.2; Blonk D.I. - 44.2

Old, antique map of Holland by C.J. Visscher, oriented to the West

Date of the first edition: 1630
Date of this map: 1633

Copper engraving
Size: 47 x 58cm (18.3 x 22.6 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Remargined with repair of some imperfections at the edges.
Condition Rating: C
References: Schilder 6, 73.2; Blonk D.I., 44.2

Separate publication. - From a composite atlas called "Atlas Iprensis".

The title appears in the centre of the top border below the coat of arms of the County of Holland. To the left of the bottom centre is a cartouche decorated with a fisherman and containing the legend of symbols, the scale and the imprint. The map engraver Abraham Goos is mentioned to the left of this cartouche. West is at the top; a compass rose is shown in the North Sea and the Zuiderzee.
The map is framed on all sides by decorative borders. The top border shows two town views, Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, and scenes with wind-powered wagons on the beach and an ice sledge. The bottom border delineates the town views of Rotterdam and Hoorn and archaeological sites. Finally, the side borders show costumed figures, town views and coats of arms.
For the border decoration, the etcher copied well-known motifs from older maps. The drawings of the wind-powered wagons and ice sledge are based on those on Visscher's 1622 Leo Hollandicus; the female figure at the far right in the scene at the upper right, and the two female figures at the lower right, are based on similar figures at the upper right of the same map. Prints by Jan van de Velde served as the models for other figures in the corner scenes. Seven town views (Dordrecht, Delft, Gouda, Alkmaar, Haarlem, Leiden and Den Briel) were copied from those by Claes Jansz Visscher on Willem Jansz's 1608 map.
The geographical content of this Visscher map still derives from Van Deventer's mapping, even though the new wall map by Balthasar Florisz van Berckenrode, with entirely new geographical content, had already been published in 1621. The engraver of the Visscher map generally copied the 1608 Willem Jansz map but made some minor alterations in the northern part of Holland.
Abraham Goos engraved the map; the decorative borders were etched in Visscher's workshop. The map is mentioned as Hollandia Comitatus in Nicolaas Visscher's c. 1682 stock list in the section Landtkaarten van 1 Bladt, met Cieraden. This is one of five copies of the second state listed by Schilder.


The Visscher Family

For nearly a century, the members of the Visscher family were important art dealers and map publishers in Amsterdam.

Claes Jansz. Visscher, or N.J. Piscator (1587-1652)

Claes Jansz. Vischer bought a house in Amsterdam, 'de gulden Bors', on the important Kalverstraat and changed the name into "In de Visscher" and it was under this title that the shop was to flourish for many years.
He was famous for his engravings and etchings of Dutch landscape and of 'historical scenes', such as sieges, battles, etc. These 'historical scenes' were considered as contemporary illustrated news items, especially, e.g., that of 'the Eighty Years' War'.
For the publication of his first atlas, he bought copperplates of the atlas Germania Inferior by Pieter van den Keere (1623).
In 1649, he published an atlas entitled Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum, containing the same maps as Langenes' Caert Thresoor, for which Visscher had only new title-pages engraved.
Claes Jansz. Visscher died in 1652. His wife, Neeltjen Florisdr., had already died in 1640. They had seven children, four of whom were still alive at Claes Jansz.'s death. One of them was Nicolaes Visscher I, who was to continue his father's business.

Nicolaes Visscher I (1618-1679)

Nicolaes Visscher I entered into a partnership with his father and continued the business and stayed on the Kalverstraat 'in de Visscher' till his death.
About 1657, the first edition appeared of his Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum.
Between 1664 and 1677, several editions of his Atlas Contractus appeared without a printed index, for these atlases had no fixed contents, but were composed according to the buyer's financial leaping-pole.
In May 1664, Nicolaes Visscher was admitted as a member of the Booksellers' Guild of his town. In July 1677, he was granted a patent of the States of Holland and West-Friesland for the printing and publishing of maps and atlases for a period of 15 years.
After this, he again published an Atlas Contractus, this time with a printed index. At about the same time, he also brought out an Atlas Minor.

Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702)

Nicolaes Visscher II inherited the 'shop' from his father. To obtain a new privilege he applied to the States of Holland and West-Friesland in 1682, for a patent for printing and publishing maps. This patent was granted to him the same year. He moved the firm to the Dam, but it kept the same signboard: "In de Visscher".
Around 1683, he published his first Atlas Minor with a printed index of 91 maps. In 1684, an atlas Germania Inferior appeared. Till 1697 he published another number of atlases. He used his grandfather's (Claes Jansz.) maps less often now and relied more and more on his own.
The wars waged in this time initiated the compilation of maps of the countries where the armies were operating. Many maps of war were included in the various editions of his Atlas Minor.
After Nicolaes' death, his wife, Elizabeth Verseyl, published all the maps of war in the form of an atlas under the title: De Stoel des Oorlogs in de Wereld (The seat of war in the world).

The widow of Nicolaes Visscher II (?-1726)

His widow continued the business energetically, and by her hand, under the name of her deceased husband, numerous atlases appeared, e.g., several editions of the Atlas Minor, an Atlas Maior and De Stoel des Oorlogs. The shop enjoyed a high reputation owing to the great variety of the assortment. Not only 'Visscher' maps, but also maps of other publishers were obtainable. With the death of Elizabeth Verseyl, in 1726, the last descendant died of a great map- and atlas-publishing firm in Amsterdam.

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