"Algier", Meisner, Daniel
Subject: Algiers, Algeria
Period: 1642 (circa)
Publication: Sciographia Cosmica
Color: Hand Color
5.7 x 3 inches
14.5 x 7.6 cm
This uncommon miniature engraving of Algiers is filled with incredible detail for such a small view. The view is a condensed version of Matthaus Merian's view of the city. Meisner's charming little plans are meticulously engraved, and they always have a Latin motto at the top, followed by emblematic verses (in Latin and German) beneath the view.
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.