Nicolaes Visscher, Asiae Nova Delineatio
Asiae Nova Delineatio
Amsterdam: Nicolaes Visscher, c. 1690
Copperplate engraving with original hand color
Paper size: 19 1/4" x 23 1/2"
A exquisite decorative map of Asia and the East Indies, published in Amsterdam by Nicolaes Visscher II. This map is an outstanding condition, featuring crisp paper, ferric oxidation from the vivid original hand-coloring, and excellent full margins. It was folded down center and has only a slight browning to its edges. The present example is the second state of the map, which includes the Privilege at the bottom center of the map. Visscher maps are famous for their embellishment and elements, and this map is no stranger to the fame. An elegant decorative title cartouche and dedication featuring mermaids, seraphim, and the Goddess Venus standing on her shell. A coat of arms balances the map of the map, and includes a dedication to D. Henrico Spiegel, Senator of Amsterdam. The map illustrates the discoveries of Tasman, Janszoon and Cartensz in Australia and New Guinea. The delineation of Japan follows that of Mercator-Hondius, but also includes the discoveries of De Vries in Yedso. Korea is shown as a peninsula and the Great Wall of China is shown. A long stretch of desert identified as the Xamo (Mandarin for sandy desert), snakes its way through the western part of China. The map is ornamented with various types of sailing vessels, a compass rose, and animals on the African continent. Among the many great Dutch map publishers active in the seventeenth century were the Visscher family; the firm was begun by Claes Jansz Visscher (1587-1652), and subsequently included his son Nicolaas (1618-1679), grandson Nicolaas II (1649-1702) and then his grandson s widow, Elizabeth, until her death in 1726. Although mainly art dealers, the Visschers were prolific publishers, producing individual maps and also atlases made up to their customers specifications. Indeed, they are commonly competitive with the Blaeus among Dutch map-makers for the high quality of engraving and decoration and the geographical accuracy of their many maps. Particularly outstanding - not only as maps but as works of art - are their world maps.
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