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1700 Visscher Map of Israel, Palestine or the Holy Land


1700 Visscher Map of Israel, Palestine or the Holy Land




Geographische Beschreibung des Gelobten Landes Canaan, Welches unserem Herrn und Seeligmacher Jesu Christo und seinen Aposteln durchwandert worden.
  1700 (undated)     12.5 x 19.5 in (31.75 x 49.53 cm)     1 : 900000


This is a beautiful and uncommon c.1700 German variant of the Visscher Family's important map of the Holy Land or Palestine or Israel, or as it is titled (in rough translation) Geographical description of the Promised Land of Canaan, Which have been traversed by our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. Oriented to the east, the map covers the whole of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan River from Tripoli to Rafah.

Throughout, tiny vignettes illustrate episodes from Biblical lore, including St. Paul's journey from Jerusalem to Rome, and the lost Dead Sea Cities of Sodom, Gomorra, Adama and Schoim. Fishing boats populate the Sea of Galilee and major trade routes are noted. A beautifully illustrated title cartouche is included in the lower right quadrant while another large vignette in the upper left illustrates the Crucifixion of Jesus. Verso of the map includes German text featuring the 'Geographical description of the Jewish state.' This map is an enlarged German version of a 1645 map originally published by Nicholas Visscher.


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, who received a privilege to publish from the States of Holland and West Friesland in 1677. The firm would in turn be passed on to his son, Nicholas Visscher II. 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. Upon the death of Nicholas Visscher II, the business was carried on by the widowed Elizabeth Visscher until it was eventually sold to Peter Schenk.


Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor wear along original fold lines. Centerfold top exhibits some toning and a minor slit.


University of Bern, Central Library, Ryhiner Collection, ZB Ryh 8201 : 7