Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 659

"Astrachan", Witsen, Nicolaas

Subject: Astrakhan, Russia

Period: 1705 (circa)

Publication: Noord en Oost Tartarye

Color: Hand Color

7.3 x 5.3 inches
18.5 x 13.5 cm

Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717) was a Dutchman who was a cartographer, authority on shipbuilding, administrator of the VOC, and served as mayor of Amsterdam multiple times. Witsen traveled to Moscow in 1664-65, keeping a diary and collecting artifacts. He became fascinated about Russia and obtained all information available at the time on the subject, including maps, travelogues, manuscripts and objects. In 1692, Witsen published the most comprehensive and authoritative work on Russia and northern Asia, Noord en Oost Tartarye. A second expanded edition was published in 1705 with additional maps, and again reprinted in 1785. All editions are very rare.

This bird's-eye view depicts the fortified city of Astrakhan, located along the Volga River at the northern end of the Caspian Sea. A numbered key below the view identifies 15 important locations.


Condition: A+

A clean, bright example on watermarked paper with attractive color.

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $80

Closed on 5/20/2015