VISSCHER, Nicolaes II (1649-1702). "Totius Circult Westphalici accurate description…". Amsterdam: Nicolaes Visscher, c. 1690.
Single sheet (22 ¼ x 19 ½) Full margins showing the plate mark. (light foxing & browning along margin, center puckered tear in crease).
An excellent and beautifully hand-colored map of Westphalia; taken from Vissher's compiled Atlas Minor siue Geographia Compendiosa, Qua Orbis Terrarum, per paucas attamen novissimas tabulas ostenditu.
The map exhibits a gorgeous original hand-coloring of the cartouches, borders outlines, and landscapes. On verso there is a beautiful oxidation. The map is unrestored, and thus, remains in excellent condition.
At the time this map was created, Westphalia was part of the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire, which comprised territories of Lower Lorraine, Frisia and parts of the former Duchy of Saxony. Parts of Westphalia came under Brandenburg-Prussian control during the 17th and 18th centuries, but most of it remained divided by duchies and other areas of feudal power. The Peace of Westphalia of 1648, signed in Münster and Osnabrück, ended the Thirty Years' War. The concept of nation-state sovereignty resulting from the treaty became known as "Westphalian sovereignty".
A small curiosity of this cartouche and the figures is the inclusion of a fisherman. This is the frequent "trademark" of the Visscher cartographers - taken from their namesake. This early form of a logo is one of the key traits experts look for in identifying true Visscher maps
"Hic quondam arx Mellum a Comitibus Oldenburgijs ad defesionem Visurgus et Iade extracts, posteagi, a mari ad; sorbta".
The Atlas Minor is a fine and comprehensive composite atlas, and one of a series of large atlases compiled and sold by the Visscher family of art dealers and cartographers in the 17th century. Founded by Nicholas Visscher, this work is known for the high quality of engraving, exceptionally fine ornament, and accurate geographical information. No two of the Visscher atlases seem to have been identical in content, and most contain, like this one, a selection of maps by the Visschers themselves as well as other cartographers. In this case the majority of the maps are published by Visscher. In addition to the striking world map by Allard with its black background and numerous projections, and found in the "Atlas Major" from about 1705, there are maps of the continents, regional maps of Europe, ten maps of Asia, and seven maps related to America.
For more information on this map, or a warm welcome to see other maps and books of our collection at 72nd Street NYC, please contact Natalie Zadrozna.