Auction 140, Lot 454

"Nordovicum Angl", Meisner, Daniel

Subject: Norwich, England

Period: 1638 (published)

Publication: Sciographia Cosmica

Color: Hand Color

5.8 x 4 inches
14.7 x 10.2 cm

This miniature bird's-eye plan of Norwich is roughly centered on the Norman Cathedral of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, built in the 12th century. The Latin motto at top translates as "The remedies are created to preserve health." In the foreground, a chameleon lies dying beneath a laurel tree in which sit a raven. The Latin and German mottos below relate that the raven, when it has killed a chameleon, a contest in which even the conqueror suffers, counteracts the poison by means of laurel. Engraved by Johann E. Loffler.

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 - A-H (identifying the 8 parts) and 1-100 (plate number). They were finally issued in 1700 and 1704 in Rudolf J. Helmer's Politica-politica.

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

Condition: A

There is manuscript writing in top blank margin.

Estimate: $160 - $200

Sold for: $110

Closed on 5/23/2012