DOU, Jan Janszoon (1615-1682) - BROECKHUYSEN, Steven Pieterszoon van - BOLSTRA, Melchior (1704-1779) - COSTER, David ca (1686-1752). 't Hooge Heemraedschap van Rhynland. Amsterdam: Isaak Tirion, circa 1746
Folio (21 x 14 inches). Double-page engraved title-page with original hand-colour in full, 12 superb double-page engraved maps by Dou, revised by Melchoir Bolstra, engraved by David Coster, which join to make one magnificent large wall-map, and one double-page engraved plate by Bolstra of sluice-gates near Katwijk, all with fine original hand-colour in full. Contemporary red roan backed marbled paper boards, paper label on the front cover with the short-title and date 1746 in manuscript (worn).
Third edition, revised by Bolstra and previously published in 1647 and 1687-1688. This detailed series of maps was published by order of the Dike-reeve of Rijnland to document land reclamation in the area. The first 12 maps constitute the revision by Melchoir Bolstra of Dou's map of Rijnland, published in 1647 and 1687. The last map is Bolstra's "Afbeeldinge van Rhynlands waterstaat," or "Consept sluysen". In this, Dutch, context, "Rijnland" generally refers to the area around the Oude Rijn, the lower reaches of a minor branch of the Rhine river in the Netherlands. This river is referred to as "Rijn" (Rhine) in the Netherlands for historical reasons. This small, heavily-canalised and remote branch of the Rhine was, in fact, the river that the Romans used to call the Rhine and the northern limit of the Roman Empire in this area. The term "Rijnland" is itself ancient.
Koeman writes: "Obviously South Holland has also had its big names in waterschapskartografie of the 17th century. Among those names dominates that of Jan Jansz. Dou, the surveyor of Rhineland and his colleague Steven Broeckhuysen. Their large map (...) is rightly regarded as the "non plus ultra" of Dutch water board mapping from the 17th century (...) the large scale [1: 30.000]. admitted the full view of the habitation: not just the outposts but all farms and other buildings along the roads. irreplaceable information about the infrastructure of the densely populated area of the Netherlands in the Golden Age" (Koeman, Geschiedenis van de kartografie van Nederland, p.138).
The Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland is the oldest water board of the Netherlands, having received its first commission to protect the land from flooding back in 1248 from William II of Holland. For several centuries, the daily work of the Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland was run by one Dike warden and seven hoogheemraden, of which two came from Haarlem and five from Leiden. Their responsibilities were traditionally to oversee the dam at Spaarndam and the dikes along the Zijl and the Does.
The Hoogheemraadschap bought a meeting hall in 1578, that was also the permanent residence of the Dike warden. The facade was renovated twenty years later in 1598 to keep up with the new town hall.This Gemeenlandshuis is the first one used by the Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland, but to meet with the Amsterdam Water Board and inspect the dikes along the Haarlemmertrekvaart and the sluices at Halfweg, the Gemeenlandshuis Zwanenburg was built by Pieter Post in 1645-1648. (see Waterschappen in Nederland: werken met water, een onberekenbare vriend, Koos Groen, Toon Schmeink, Bosch & Keuning, 1981).