Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam…. TASMAN, Jacob Van CAMPEN.
Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam…
Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam…
Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam…
Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam…

Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam…

Amsterdam: Dancker Danckerts, 1661.

Folio, with an engraved title-page, a full-page portrait of Campen and 30 engraved plates, mostly double-page, one folding; contemporary vellum with the arms of Stirling Maxwell stamped in blind on the upper boards (there is also a later family member's bookplate).

The floor map of Tasman's discoveries

Oddly enough, this splendid architectural record of the Amsterdam Town Hall is also one of very few early printed records of Tasman's voyages.

Oddly enough, this splendid architectural record of the Amsterdam Town Hall is also one of very few early printed records of Tasman's voyages.

Jacob Van Campen began his designs for his masterpiece in 1648: the Town Hall was finally completed in 1665, ten years after Van Campen's death. His draughtsman, Jacob Vennekool, made the drawings for this book, which were engraved by Dankerts. They include exterior and interior elevations, sections and plans. There is also a magnificent anonymous portrait of Van Campen himself.

The building was itself an emblem of the great commercial successes of the Dutch, successes that are specifically celebrated in the rich sculptural decorations. The main pediment, for example, shows the oceans and continents of the world paying tribute to Amsterdam.

Tasman's voyages had been completed in 1644, and two of the engraved plates - a double-page engraving followed by a single-page - depict the wide marble floor of the Burgerzaal, the main room of the Town Hall. This floor, essentially the centre-piece of the whole building, contained the famous marble Tasman map, a world map in two spheres (with a third astronomical sphere) which displayed the results of Tasman's voyages to Australia, proudly showing the latest achievements of the Dutch VOC. This engraving is the only surviving record of the map, as it was later replaced by a floor of plain marble slabs after it was totally worn off by people walking over it.

In 1946 the State Library of New South Wales deliberately echoed the original Dutch idea when the marble floor map in the main vestibule of the building was commissioned: it too records Tasman's voyages, this time from the Library's manuscript map of the voyages, the so-called "Bonaparte-Tasman map" that was presented to the Library by the Greek royal family. It is surviving the passing traffic better than its vanished Dutch forebear.

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"The floor plan of the famous double hemisphere world map, which was inlaid in copper and marble on the mosaic floor, located in the Citizen's Hall (Burgerzaal / Sale des Bourgeois) in Amsterdam. It was also the inspiration for the floor at the entrance of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, New South Wales. Visitors to the Citizen's Hall entered the enormous chamber through the portals on either end of the building, marked on the floor plan 'F' and 'A' and on the accompanying architectural engraved elevation as 'A'. The visitors would have been presented with the splendour of Campen's designs, reflecting the riches and power of Holland's maritime trading empire.

"On either side of the entrance the sculptured decorations are of Justice identified by the sword and the scales, to her left is Death and on the right Retribution, with instruments of torture. Justice treads on Avarice (King Midas) and Malice (symbolised by an old woman with snakes in her hair). The frieze depicts earthly possessions while at centre the eye of God is watching. Within the arch there are panels depicting the harness of Temperance and the sword of Justice as well as the symbols of Fortitude: the lion skin and Hercules' club. The border above the window shows the four virtues of good governance: Prudence (with mirror), Justice (blindfolded, with scales), Temperance (with harness) and Vigilance (with torch and crowing cock). Like Atlas and Peace these were the models used to cast the bronze sculptures outside. Above the entrances to the galleries, the pendentives have personifications of the four elements on either side. Earth, nursing a child, opposite Water, carrying a ship, and Fire, from a country on the equator, opposite Air. Behind Fire we can see the blazing sun, a wind nymph at her feet is fanning the flames. She is holding a bowl with ashes from which the legendary Phoenix arises. Air is holding a peacock against herself, the animal in her other hand is a chameleon. The planets are found in the galleries, there are seven Roman gods plus the goddess of earth, Cybele. They have been arranged as the planets were thought to travel through space: in a circle around the earth, as can be seen in the marble map in the Citizen's Hall" (Antique Print and Map Room, Sydney).

Berlin, 2233; Fowler, 77; not in Tooley; Rijksmuseum catalogue, III, 246. For the map: Schilder, map 66; Shirley, 423.

Condition Report: Small marginal tear to one plate well clear of image; an attractive copy.

Price (AUD): $8,500.00

US$6,603.20   Other currencies

Ref: #3907228

Condition Report