Catalog Archive
Auction 99, Lot 84

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

Subject: Western Hemisphere

Period: 1670 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

21.5 x 17.2 inches
54.6 x 43.7 cm

Visscher's map greatly influenced the cartography of the Americas both geographically and artistically. One of the most distinctive geographic details, that was 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 Cornelis 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.

References: Burden #332; McLaughlin #48.

Condition: B

Original color in map with later colored cartouches. Oxidization of green with some cracking & minor loss at centerfold. Couple of stains most likely from candle wax. Backed with tissue to reinforce oxidation & close marginal tears & centerfold split.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,200

Sold for: $1,300

Closed on 6/12/2002