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Double-hemisphere world map, by Nicolaas Visscher I. c. 1678

Nicolaas Visscher's new world map in two hemispheres can be regarded as the master forerunner of several highly decorative Dutch world maps produced throughout the remainder of the century. ... The distinctive attractiveness of many of the later seventeenth-century Dutch world maps is to be found in their border decorations, and Visscher's is no exception. His artist Nicolaes Berchem has introduced dramatic classical scenes representing the rape of Persephone, Zeus being carried across the heavens in an eagle-drawn chariot, Poseidon commanding his entourage, and Demeter receiving the fruits of the Earth. At the top and bottom are smaller spheres with projections based on the north and south poles; on the latter, only the tip of South America can be seen. (Shirley)


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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Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accuratissima Tabula.

€12500  ($12250 / £11000)
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Item Number:  28934  new
Category:  Antique maps > World and Polar
References: Shirley (World) - #406

Antique world map - double-hemisphere by N. Visscher, with smaller polar projections at top and bottom and allegorical surrounds.

Title: Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accuratissima Tabula.
Auctore Nicolao Visscher.
N.P. Berchem invent.


Designer: Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem.

Date of the first edition: 1658.
Date of this map: c. 1658-77.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Map size: 470 x 560mm (18.5 x 22.05 inches).
Sheet size: 520 x 610mm (20.47 x 24.02 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: Original coloured, richly heightened in gold and silver, some creasing in centre flattened, a few small marginal tears closed.
Condition Rating: A.

From: Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum Praecipuas ac Novissimas Complectens Tabulas. Amsterdam, N. Visccher, 1658-77. (Koeman III, Vis5-8)

Nicolaas Visscher's new world map in two hemispheres can be regarded as the master forerunner of several highly decorative Dutch world maps produced throughout the remainder of the century. ... The distinctive attractiveness of many of the later seventeenth-century Dutch world maps is to be found in their border decorations, and Visscher's is no exception. His artist Nicolaes Berchem has introduced dramatic classical scenes representing the rape of Persephone, Zeus being carried across the heavens in an eagle-drawn chariot, Poseidon commanding his entourage, and Demeter receiving the fruits of the Earth. At the top and bottom are smaller spheres with projections based on the north and south poles; on the latter, only the tip of South America can be seen. (Shirley)


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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