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Rare and highly decorative world map by Pieter Schenk in spectacular full color. The map shows California as an Island, hint of the Northwest Passage, bits of New Zealand and a partial Australian Coastline and other contemporary cartographic features. Smaller pair of polar hemispheric projections. The most remarkable aspect of the map is the inclusion of the two diagrams of the solar system and the earth with zodialogical and astronomical plans. These hemispheres would appear to be directly copied from Cellarius' maps, suggesting that this work was prepared at or about the time that Valk & Schenk were re-issuing Cellarius' Harmonia Macrocosmic Seu Atlas Universalis et Novus… perhaps the most famous and decorative celestial atlas ever published. Shirley listed the source of the map as Schenk's Atlas Contractus. However, our efforts to locate examples of the map suggests that the map is much rarer than Schenk's other world maps. The folds in this example also indicate that it was not bound into standard folio sized atlas. The border decorations were engraved by Abraham Deur and portray flamboyant scenes from mythology and an idealized panorama of terrestrial and marine life. A nearly flawless example. No auction or dealer catalogue records of this map having been offered in the past 25 years. Shirley 637.

Peter Schenk Biography

Peter Schenk the Elder (1660-1711) moved to Amsterdam in 1675 and began to learn the art of mezzotint. In 1694 he bought some of the copperplate stock of the mapmaker Johannes Janssonius, which allowed him to specialize in the engraving and printing of maps and prints. He split his time between his Amsterdam shop and Leipzig and also sold a considerable volume of materials to London.

Peter Schenk the Elder had three sons. Peter the Younger carried on his father’s business in Leipzig while the other two, Leonard and Jan, worked in Amsterdam. Leonard engraved several maps and also carried on his father’s relationship with engraving plates for the Amsterdam edition of the Histoire de l'Académie Royale des Sciences.