Nicolaas Witsen Asia 1695


Nicolaas Witsen. “Asia Accuratissime Descripta.” Amsterdam: Peter Schenck, 1695. 19 1/4 x 23. Engraving. Strong original outline color. A few light stains in margin. Very good condition.

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A strongly engraved and colored antique map of Asia based on the work of Nicolaas Witsen. Witsen was at various times Mayor and Burgomaster of Amsterdam, ambassador or Russian and England, friend of Peter the Great, traveler, map collector, map maker, and artist of some note. Witsen traveled extensively, including to Moscow in 1664. He maintained copious correspondence with people in different parts of Asia and was able to compile as extensive knowledge of the continent as anyone in the later part of the seventeenth century. In 1692 he issued his account of Noord en Oost Tartarye and he was responsible for a large map of Asia in 1687. This is Peter Schenck’s version of Witsen’s information, and it is impressive in its detail and accuracy for the time. Besides its excellent information, the map is visually appealing as well, with good color and an elaborate cartouche with various Asiatic figures, objects, produce, and fauna.