Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 410

"Cusco in West Indien", Meisner, Daniel

Subject: Peru

Period: 1642 (circa)

Publication: Sciographia Cosmica

Color: Hand Color

5.6 x 3 inches
14.2 x 7.6 cm

This miniature view of Cuzco is taken from DeBry's depiction of the Inca city, laid out in a rectangular grid before the temple and surrounded by impressive walled fortifications. Two natives are shown logging in the foreground. The verse tells of their ingenuity in the absence of iron tools by felling trees with fire and splitting logs with wooden wedges.

Meisner's emblem book, containing over 800 pictorial-poetic compositions, was enormously popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. The plan views were based on the work of De Bry, Braun & Hogenberg, Merian and others with the addition of emblematic figures or scenes in the foreground, juxtaposed with moralizing and edifying verses beneath the image and a Latin motto at top. It was originally issued with 52 plates as the Thesaurus philo-politicus in 1623-24. After Meisner's death in 1625, Eberhard Kieser, with assistance from Johann L. Gottfried, completed the work and published it until 1631. The plates then appeared in the eight parts of Sciographia Cosmica published by Paulus Furst between 1637-78. The plates for these editions were renumbered alphanumerically in the upper right corners. They were finally issued in 1700 and 1704 in Rudolf J. Helmer's Politica-politica.

References: King (2nd ed.) pp. 104-5.

Condition: A+

Estimate: $240 - $325

Sold for: $180

Closed on 2/16/2011