Catalog Archive
Auction 185, Lot 70

Visscher's Classic Map of the Americas with the Island of California in Full Contemporary Color

"Novissima et Accuratissima Totius Americae Descriptio", Visscher, Nicolas

Subject: Western Hemisphere - America

Period: 1677 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

21.4 x 17.1 inches
54.4 x 43.4 cm
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Visscher's map greatly influenced the cartography of the Americas both geographically and artistically. One of the most distinctive geographic details copied by other cartographers is the large open lake in the Great Lakes region. Visscher actually copied this from Blaeu's wall map of the world [1648], but popularized it on this map. California is shown as an island, on the Briggs model, but with a broader northern coastline. The map is embellished with two large cartouches that were also copied by other cartographers. The top cartouche features a dedication to Cornelius Witsen and depicts angels struggling with a devil for the soul of a Native American. The pictorial title cartouche contains scenes of gold panning, hunting and a native chief standing beneath an umbrella. This is the second state, with the addition of Vischer's privilege.

References: Burden #332; McLaughlin #48; Tooley (Amer) p. 119, #29; Wagner (NW) #378.

Condition: B+

A superb, dark impression with full contemporary color, very minor soiling, two small worm holes in the image at bottom, and an archivally repaired centerfold separation that enters 1.3" into image at bottom. There are some faint dampstains in the blank margins.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 11/17/2021