Visscher's Exactissima Helvetiae
17th Century Map of Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Visscher Switzerland
Nicolaus Janszen Visscher
Exactissima Helvetiae Rhaetiae Valesiae Caeterorumq Confoederatorum ut Et finitimorum Populorum Regionum Tabula
[Carefully Executed Map of Switzerland, Rhaetia, Valesia and Regions of Neighboring Confederated Nations]
Amsterdam: 17th Century
Hand-colored engraving
18.75 x 22.75 inches, plate mark
21 x 25 inches, overall
$800

Map of Switzerland and surrounding regions in present-day France, Germany and Italy, with two decorative cartouches, labeled in Latin. Both cartouches are decorated with putti, and the one displaying the title also has a semi-nude allegorical male warrior figure carrying a white flag with a red cross. Portions of Burgundy, Alsace, Liechtenstein, Tyrol, Venice, Lombardy, Piedmont and Savoy are also shown.

This map was originally published by the second Nicolaus Visscher (1618-1679) in 1658. In 1680, a new edition was published by his son Nicolaus (1649-1709) in Atlas Minor. The Amsterdam publishers F. de Wit and P. Schenk also issued versions around the end of the 17th century.

The Visscher map publishing firm was operated in Amsterdam by three generations of men all named Nicolaus Janszen Visscher (sometimes written Claes Jansoon Visscher) throughout the 17th century and into the early years of the 18th. The founding Nicolaus (1587-1652) was succeeded by his son (1618-1679) and grandson (1649-1709). Their publications include Atlas Contractus (1660) and Atlas Minor (1680), and their plates were extensively utilized by other mapmakers in Holland and abroad.

Cartouche lower left has the title and the following inscription:

“Ex constibus Nicolai Visscher Amst: Bat/ Cum Privi: Praeoteniss Ordinum General Belgii Federati.”

Cartouche lower right bears the following text:

“Illustrissimis Potentissimis ac Florentissimis Rebus – Publicis Helvetiorum

Tigurinae Bernensi Basiliensi Scaphusinae Novam hanc & post Omnes alias Exactissimam Helvatiae Tabulam d. d. d.”

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Few short marginal tears and chips, restored, minor stain in lower margin, all can be matted out. Vertical center fold as issued. Original color enhanced by later color.

Reference:

Tooley, R.V. Maps and Map-Makers. 4th Ed. New York: Bonanza Books, 1970. p. 34.