Nova totius geographica telluris projectio [&] Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia macrocosmica
Full title: Nova totius geographica telluris projectio. Edited by Gerardum Valck, Amsterdam (2nd title) Inleidinge tot de geographie, waar in begreepen zyn de astronomische geographie, verklaarende de overeenkomst der aardkloot met de sphere: de natuurlyke geographie. Geevende de verdeelingen van alle deelen der Aarde en des waters ... Door den Heer Sanson d'Abbeville ... [with] Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia macrocosmica.
Superb work bringing together 198 beautiful maps and prints finely enhanced in colour by a contemporary hand, including 29 celestial maps, and a black map bound in fine.
Two works bound in two volumes (53,5 x 35 cm). Full calf, spine with nine compartments decorated with gilt spandrels and spheres, title (Atlas) and tomaison in gilt, boards decorated with a large central gilt motif representing Atlas supporting a sphere, framed with a fine gilt scroll with spandrels and spheres in the corners, the whole framed with a large gilt lace, gilt edges (Period binding).
Vol. I. [terrestrial atlas] title-frontispiece, title engraved in black and red with vignette, , 38 pp. 101 double-page maps - Vol. II. [continuation terrestrial atlas] 65 double-page maps, 3 double-page engravings - [celestial atlas] title-frontispiece, title engraved in black and red, index, 29 double-page maps - 1 map.
Magnificent atlas of the world by Valck & Schenk containing 169 double-page engraved maps and prints, bound with Cellarius' celestial atlas containing 29 double maps, all beautifully hand-coloured at the time. The work is augmented by a map by Simon Janz. Panser on the great eclipse of the sun of 13 May 1733 elaborated in a new and complete way after the astronomical tables of M. De la Hire and published in Amsterdam in 1733 by the Dutch publishers Reinier and Josua Ottens after Arnold Colom's 1655 two-hemisphere map Nova delineatio totius orbis terrarum. On the map, Panzer indicates the area where the total solar eclipse of 13 May 1733 will be visible. He accompanies the map with explanatory text on both sides and diagrams showing the different phases of the eclipse as it will be seen in and around Amsterdam. Simon J. Panser (1696-1754) was a professor of mathematics and navigation at Emden and the author of several astronomical pamphlets and maps published by Reinier and Josua Ottens in Amsterdam.
This is not a regular edition. This type of composite atlas, assembled according to the collector's wishes, was published and sold by Valck and Schenk with a variable number of maps from various authors throughout the 18th century.
The present atlas includes the allegorical title of Valk's atlas, Nova totius geographica telluris projectio, depicting the mythical figures of Atlas, Geography, Cybele, Neptune and History surrounded by a putti, with the Angel of Fame holding a trumpet in each hand above this lively scene to emphasise the importance of the work. A second title, Inleidinge tot de géographie... by Covens and Mortier, undated, announces in Dutch the text, also in Dutch, of Sanson's introduction to geography ["Introduction to Geography, in which is included astronomical geography, explaining the correspondence of the terrestrial globe with the sphere: natural geography. To give the divisions of all the parts of the earth and waters... through the sovereign states, through the extent of the religions, and through the extent of the principal languages"]. This is followed by 169 maps and plates, 39 of which are from the rare composite atlas Atlantis sylloge compendiosa by Gerard and Leonard Valck published around 1702, and 10 from the Atlas contractus by Petrus Schenk published around 1700.
In total, Valk and Schenk's atlas includes 3 maps of the world, two maps of the polar regions (North and South), 128 maps of Europe, 21 of Asia and the Middle East, 7 of the Americas, 6 of Africa and 3 plates showing the terms of the main parts of warships, the 192 flags of the sea and military architecture. All but a few of the maps are signed Gerard Valck - Gerard and Leonard Valck - Petrus Schenk (I and II, the latter who after 1715 sometimes signed Petrus Schenk Jr, as did his son Petrus Schenk III) - or Gerard Valck and Petrus Schenk, based on maps by Jaillot, Blaeu, Visscher, Jansson, Sanson, Pirnacker, Moses Pitt, Labanna or Van Loon. Some are dated, between 1703 and 1722, some have no address.
Noteworthy are: - the rare map of the world in two hemispheres with two polar projections, decorated in the corners with living scenes representing the four seasons, the Orbis terrarum nova et accurata tabula by Gerard and Leonard Valck; the map, geographically updated from Gerard's earlier editions, was published separately and was sometimes found in Valck's atlases of the early 1700s (Shirley 638)
- Moses Pitt's Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula based on the geographically updated Kaerius map but with the same detailed border decorations depicting the seven planets, the seven wonders of the world, the four elements and the four seasons (Shirley 504)
- the Novus planiglobi terrestris per utrumque Polum conspectus, a double-hemisphere map of the world on a polar projection, originally engraved by Johannes Blaeu in 1672-73 and republished by Valck around 1695 before being included in the Schenk and Valck atlases of the early 1700s (Shirley 459).
Also noteworthy is the surprising map  without title or author/publisher, consisting of two superimposed parts engraved upside down on each other, showing parts of Oldenburg County. Published by Valck and Schenk in the late 17th century in several of their atlases, this map is part of the 'four-part' map of the Unterweser by Joannes Janssonius, the copper plates of which were acquired by Valck and Schenk (the map shows the grid pattern of Moses Pitt, who collected the Janssonius copper plates before they passed into the hands of Valck and Schenk.) The map, whose original format would have required double folding, was not included in the atlases but a reduced version showing the Weser from Bremen to its mouth (map ). However, many atlases were made at the request of wealthy customers who wanted their atlas to contain as many maps as possible. Sometimes such maps were included, thus increasing the total number of sheets.
Following the terrestrial atlas by Valck and Schenk is one of the most beautiful celestial atlases of the 18th century, the Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia macrocosmica by the famous German (or was it Polish?) cartographer, mathematician and cosmographer Andreas Cellarius (ca. 1596-1665), of which only the magnificent plates from the original copperplate edition of 1660 were published here by the Amsterdam publishers G. Valk and P. Schenk in 1708.
The atlas consists of an allegorical frontispiece in period colours, an engraved title in black and red, an Index Tabularum leaf and 29 superb double-page copper-engraved maps finely coloured at the time.
The 29 splendid maps, richly decorated in the baroque style, show the planetary systems according to the theories of Ptolemy (geocentrism), Copernicus (heliocentrism) and Tycho Brahe (geo-heliocentrism), the position of the stars, the movements of the Sun, the Moon and the planets, and the delimitation of the constellations according to mythology and the Christian religion.
These maps are among the most beautiful ever made. They are decorated with scenes, most of them historiated, representing cherubs, astronomers, instruments... On the splendid frontispiece engraved by Frederik Hendrik van den Hove are represented, among others, the astronomical muse Urania, Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer of the 3rd century BC. Aristarchus of Samos who was one of the first to suggest the movement of the Earth around the Sun, etc.
"Among the most astonishing plates in the atlas are those of the "Christian sky" with, on the Christian planisphere showing the southern hemisphere (pl.24), the ship Argo replaced by Noah's Ark, or on the Christian boreal planisphere (pl.25 ), the representation of six of the saints of the zodiac, including Saint Andrew with his cross (replacing the Taurus and the Hyades cluster), the Sepulchre (replacing Andromeda) and the Red Sea (replacing the river Eridan). Similarly, the plate Hemisphaerium Australis Coeli & Terrae Scenographia (pl.28) represents a never-before-used view of the sky, in which the constellations of the southern hemisphere are superimposed on the map of the globe. The arrangement is ingenious, but it is doubtful whether it was of practical use to the astronomers of the time. Aesthetic concerns therefore prevailed. (BnF, Figures du ciel, p. 159-164).
Often composed at the request of collectors, these Nieuwe Atlas were sold from the 1730s onwards by the famous Amsterdam map publisher Covens & Mortier (1721-1866), and then by its successors Mortier, Covens & Zoon until about 1810. This means that there is no longer a regular edition, as the copies vary according to the collector's wishes. Among the names of the editors and map makers in these atlases are the Dutch Pierre Schenk, Gerard Valk, Hendrik de Leth, Frederic de Wit, Jansson, Blaeu, Visscher etc., and among the foreign cartographers Homann, d'Anville, Sanson etc.
List of maps in the atlas available on request.
The Valck and Schenk:
The Valcks and Schenk are one of the most respected and enduring map and globe making families in Europe. Their destiny was linked by the marriages of several of their members, the acquisition of the map and copper stocks of cartographers such as Jansson, De Wit or Visscher and the obtaining of privileges allowing them to exercise a quasi-monopoly on the production of maps and globes in the Netherlands from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century.
Gerrit Leendertsz Valck (1652-1726), better known as Gerard Valck, was an Amsterdam publisher, engraver, art dealer and globe maker. Trained by Abraham Bloteling, whose assistant he became, the two men fled the arrival of the French in the Low Countries and settled in London around 1673 where Gerard married Abraham's sister Maria Bloteling; it was in London that his son and successor, Leonard, was born in 1675. After apprenticing as a cartographer to David Loggan and Christopher Browne, Gerard returned to Amsterdam in the late 1670s and in 1684 was granted a 15-year printing privilege by the Dutch States.
Born in Germany, Petrus Schenk (1660-1718) left for Amsterdam where he became a pupil and later a partner of Gerard Valck. On 16 November 1686, they obtained a privilege to print prints. Petrus Schenk married Gerard Valck's sister Agatha in 1687.
In 1694 they bought the stock of maps and copperplates from Jan Jansson, one of the two most famous publishers in Amsterdam and the only one still available, as the other major firm, the Blaeu's, had seen its stock disappear in a fire in 1672. Jansson's brass instruments were used for the 1708 reprinting of Cellarius' celestial atlas Harmonia macrocosmica. Petrus and Gerard were granted a 15-year privilege to publish all the maps, and in 1695 they obtained the right to publish the maps of Sanson, cartographer to the King of France, which were considered to be the most accurate of their time. Gerard Valck, who is also famous for printing monumental maps to adorn the walls of grand houses, was also trained in the extremely difficult art of globe-making by Pieter Maasz Smit.
Although they were partners, Gerard and Petrus kept their independence.
In 1700, Gerard Valk set up his business in the Amsterdam shop previously occupied by the legendary Jocodus Hondius ("op den Dam in de Wakkere Hond"). Shortly afterwards he published his own manual for making globes, 't Werkstellige der Sterrekonst, and the first pair of globes, with a diameter of 12 inches, under his own name. Valk's globes were soon a great success and were produced in a wide variety of sizes. The family soon gained a virtual monopoly on this prestigious market. In 1702 he joined the booksellers' guild and soon became its head. His son Leonard, married to Maria Schenk, joined him.
Around 1711 Leonard became a partner, and then took control of the company on the death of his father in 1726. After Leonard's death in 1746, the production of globes continued with his widow, Maria. In the same year, the company's catalogue advertised a pair of 12-inch table globes at a price of 33 florins. This was a considerable sum, revealing the role of maps and globes as true luxury items for an intellectually sophisticated elite. This trade continued after their deaths until the company was taken over by Cornelis Covens shortly after 1800.
Petrus Schenk moved to the Vijgendam in Amsterdam in 1706, "in the Sanson Atlas". When he died in 1718, his son, Leonard Schenk, succeeded him. The second son, Petrus II, moved to another famous house, "in the Visscher Atlas", where he continued his partnership with Gerard and Leonard Valck.
The Valck and Schenk families produced more than 70 original maps, some of them monumental; they reprinted and modified hundreds of maps, including Jansson's Atlas novus, and published the maps of the French cartographer Sanson for the Netherlands. Some of these were published in the Atlas Contractus sive mapparum geographicarum Sansoniarum auctarum et correctum Nova Congeries, also called Atlas Minor. They also made a large number of globes which today adorn the finest collections.
These two families are among the most renowned in the history of cartography.
Covens & Mortier
Originally, Pierre Mortier (1661-1711) (Pierre Mortier I), a publisher and dealer in maps and books, opened a bookshop in Amsterdam in 1685 and became a member of the Guild of Booksellers, Printers and Art Dealers. In 1690, Pierre started publishing maps and atlases and joined forces with the printer and bookseller Marc Huguetan. As a competitor of Gerard Valck, Pierre Schenk etc. in the resale and publishing of Sanson and Jaillot maps, he acquired the stock of Frederic de Wit in 1710. When he died in 1711, his widow Amelia continued the business until her own death in 1719. Their son Cornelis (1699-1783) succeeded them and on 20 November 1721 founded the publishing house Covens & Mortier in partnership with Johannes Covens I (1697-1774), who had married his sister Agatha the same year. Over the next 140 years, the company, which was continued by the heirs of both families, grew considerably and changed its name in 1778 to J. Covens & Zoon (J. Covens & Sons), then to Mortier, Covens & Zoon (Mortier, Covens & Sons) with the last Cornelis Johannes Covens (1806-1880).