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1617 Visscher - The World's Rarest Map
[VIS-0955]

by World Maps



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"Visscher World Map"

Published by Claes Visscher, 1617

Printed by Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd., 2016

The National Library of Austria in Vienna has a superb, two-sheet world map by Claes Visscher. It is untitled and undated. The engraving as a whole is a combination of the age's emblems: the two hemispheres of the world, the mythological heavens, the classical past, the pride of recent explorers, man's duties throughout the changing seasons, and the Christian obligations of every being.

The date of this masterpiece has been deduced through geographic anomalies to be 1617. Besides its supreme rarity, it is a map of singular beauty and so, for these reasons, we have commissioned its reproduction.

Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd. acquired a photo lithograph of the original from the National Library in Vienna. Our agent personally transported the accurate but pallid rendering to Katmandu (Nepal), where we commissioned exiled Tibetan monks to recreate this rarity in minute detail.

Using traditional techniques honed over the centuries, the novitiate monks painted the map on cotton, using hand-mixed mineral and vegetable pigments. The quality of the monks' labors represent a level of discipline, precision and artistic value which we feel is a resource that will have dissipated by the next generation.

We custom-print this facsimile map on waterproof canvas in our Lahaina studio using the finest archival inks, which are tested and guaranteed not to fade or shift under normal circumstances for over 100 years. Modern printing techniques allow us to improve and enhance the historical subject matter, even as we're careful to preserve and maintain its historical and artistic integrity.