The rare first edition of Nicolas Visscher's beautiful world map from the Dutch Ravesteyn Bible of 1654. R. W. Shirley is only aware of world maps in Dutch Bibles from 1657 onwards. The world map of 1654 was the first of several maps Visscher made for Dutch Bibles in the mid-17th century. It became the prototype for the Dutch Bible maps published over the next 100 years. This world map was copied by Stoopendaal or Detleffsen, among others, for Bibles from 1680 onwards.
R. Shirley describes this map in The Mapping of the World, Plate 300 (Entry 401), as follows:
A number of bibles published in the Netherlands contain world maps, those from 1657 onwards often closely related to this prototype by Nicolaas Visscher. The maps tend to be conservative in form, with certain areas such as California (as a peninsula) being represented more correctly than current theories at the time. On Visscher's map parts of Australia and Van Diemen’s Land are marked, but not the north coast of Australia discovered on Tasman's second voyage in 1644.
Two celestial spheres are displayed on the right-hand hemisphere and opposite are lines of text describing the discovery of America and more recent circumnavigations. In the corners the four continents are shown in allegorical form with examples of their animal life and inhabitants. Two circular diagrams depict the heavens.
There were later editions of the Ravesteyn Bible in at least 1660, 1662, 1667 and 1670. Editions prior to 1657 do not (as far as I have been able to ascertain) contain world maps, although both Nicolaas Visscher’s father Claes Visscher and another engraver from Amsterdam, Jacob Savry, prepared regional biblical maps in the 1640s. Maps were often added to bibles at a later date.
Apart from the north coast of Australia, the discoveries made by Tasman on his first and second expeditions around Australia from 1642-44 are included. New Zealand is still missing.
This first edition of the Visscher world map appeared in 1654 in the Dutch Bible published by van Ravesteyn. Later editions of the Ravesteyn Bible in 1657, 1660, 1662, 1667 and 1670 were also accompanied by this map. A second edition of the map, from a new printing plate and now with the coastline of New Zealand, first appeared in 1660 (Shirley 431).
|Orbis Terrarum Typus De Integro In Plurimis Emendatus Auctus et Icunculis Illustratus Auct. Nicolaus Joa. Visschero
|Paulus Aertsz van Ravesteyn, Amsterdam, 1654
|48.0 x 55.9 cm (18.9 x 22.0 inches)
|53.2 x 61.2 cm (20.9 x 24.1 inches)
|Shirley, R. W.: The Mapping of the World, No. 401
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