1814 Covens and Mortier Plan and Map of Amsterdam

[Plan de la Grande et Fameuse Ville Marchande d'Amsterdam. / Plan van de Wyd Vermaarde en Beroemde Koop Stad Amsterdam.] - Main View

1814 Covens and Mortier Plan and Map of Amsterdam


Magnificent, updated plan of Amsterdam.


[Plan de la Grande et Fameuse Ville Marchande d'Amsterdam. / Plan van de Wyd Vermaarde en Beroemde Koop Stad Amsterdam.]
  1814 (undated)     22.25 x 38.25 in (56.515 x 97.155 cm)     1 : 53000


This is the final 1814 Covens and Mortier issue of this large, beautifully engraved Nicolas Visscher II map of Amsterdam. It was originally entitled Plan de la Grande et Fameuse Ville Marchande d'Amsterdam / Plan van de Wyd Vermaarde en Beroemde Koop Stad Amsterdam, but in this state of the plan, the increasingly unfashionable cartouche has been removed, along with the title the plan had borne for a near a century. Architect Daniel Stalpaert initially compiled the plan. It was printed by Nicolas Visscher and was notable as one of the earliest depictions of the iconic ring canals, which were added to the city in the first half of the seventeenth century. The plan is oriented to the south-southwest to display the vibrant port, teeming with ships. It is a magnificently detailed work, with nearly three hundred streets named and numbered. Particularly famous or important structures are illustrated pictorially, as are the windmills built around the city to operate the canal system.
Reworking the Plate
Close inspection reveals more changes than the simple removal of the cartouche. There are numerous name changes in the street lists, and many place names are changed or added on the plan itself. The 'Kostverlooren Vaart' canal is named here, along with the 'Vat nu de Overtoom' canal connecting the larger outer canal to the city's internal network. Neither of these are named on earlier states. Also, in addition to their notation in the lists, various streets (such as the Harlemmer Strait, the Harlemmer Dyk, and the Vinke Straat) have their names added directly to the plan.
Publication History and Census
The map was first engraved in 1715 by Nicolas Visscher II but remained in print well after his death. His widow, Elizabeth, eventually sold the plates to Covens and Mortier, who re-engraved and modernized them. The present example is the 6th state of the plan. The holdings of this map are poorly cataloged. We see thirteen examples in OCLC in its various states. One example of this final state appears in Harvard's collection, dated 1780, and is erroneously identified as a proof state - likely an assumption based upon the absent title.


Claes Jansz Visscher (1587 - 1652) established the Visscher family publishing firm, which were prominent Dutch map publishers for nearly a century. The Visscher cartographic story beings with Claes Jansz Visscher who established the firm in Amsterdam near the offices of Pieter van den Keer and Jadocus Hondius. Many hypothesize that Visscher may have been one of Hondius's pupils and, under examination, this seems logical. The first Visscher maps appear around 1620 and include numerous individual maps as well as an atlas compiled of maps by various cartographers including Visscher himself. Upon the death of Claes, the firm fell into the hands of his son Nicholas Visscher I (1618 - 1679), who in 1677 received a privilege to publish from the States of Holland and West Friesland. The firm would in turn be passed on to his son, Nicholas Visscher II (1649 - 1702). Visscher II applied for his own privilege, receiving it in 1682. Most of the maps bearing the Visscher imprint were produced by these two men. Many Visscher maps also bear the imprint Piscator (a Latinized version of Visscher) and often feature the image of an elderly fisherman - an allusion to the family name. Upon the death of Nicholas Visscher II, the business was carried on by the widowed Elizabeth Verseyl Visscher (16?? - 1726). After her death, the firm and all of its plates was liquidated to Peter Schenk. More by this mapmaker...

Covens and Mortier (1721 - c. 1862) was an Amsterdam publishing firm, the successor to the extensive publishing empire built by Pierre Mortier (1661 - 1711). Covens and Mortier maps are often criticized as derivative - but this is not fully the case. Pierre Mortier lived in Paris from 1681 to 1685. There he established close relationships the the greatest French cartographers of the era, including De L'Isle and D'Anville. His business model was based upon leveraging Dutch printing technology and sophistication to co-publish state of the art French cartography. Upon Mortier's death in 1711 his firm was taken over by his son, Cornelius Mortier (1699 - 1783). Cornelius married the sister of Johannes Covens (1697 - 1774) in 1721 and, partnering with his brother in law, established the Covens and Mortier firm. Under the Covens and Mortier imprint, Cornelius and Johannes continued in Pierre's model of publishing the most up-to-date French works with permission. They quickly became one of the largest and most prolific Dutch publishing concerns of the 18th century. The firm and its successors published thousands of maps over a 120 year period from 1721 to the mid-1800s. During their long lifespan the Covens and Mortier firm published as Covens and Mortier (1721 - 1778), J. Covens and Son (1778 - 94) and Mortier, Covens and Son (1794 - c. 1862). Learn More...


Very good. Dissected and mounted on linen as issued, with original slipcase.


OCLC 1252373739. Hameleers, M. Kaarten van Amsterdam 104.