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Description

Exceptional old color example of Jansson's rare Plan of Moscow. This decorative and detailed plan of Moscow (Moskva) appeared in Jannson's rarest town book. The map is believed to be derived from a Russian survey prepared at the orders of Boris Fyodorovich Godunov (c. 1551-1605), Tsar of Muscovy from 1598 onward, and was probably prepared prior to 1630. The original Russian plan has apparantly not survived, and Jansson may have used a copy made in 1610 for King Sigismund III of Poland. The plan shows the old city which surrounds the Kremlin and the Kitai Gorod or Fortified City. The name Kremlin first appeared as Kreml' (or High Town) in an account of the fire in the town in 1331. It was founded in 1147 at the junction of two rivers, the Moskva and the Neglinnaya. As Moscow grew, the Kremlin became the royal, religious and secular heart of the city. Until Tsar Peter I transferred his seat of government to his new city of St Petersburg in 1713, it was the capital city. beyond the walls of Kitai Gorod, another section grew up, called Belgorod or White City, which was in 1584 after the death of Tsar Ivan the Terrible with a wall which spanned 6 miles and included 28 towers. A nice wide margined example in old color.

Jan Jansson Biography

Jan Janssonius (also known as Johann or Jan Jansson or Janszoon) (1588-1664) was a renowned geographer and publisher of the seventeenth century, when the Dutch dominated map publishing in Europe. Born in Arnhem, Jan was first exposed to the trade via his father, who was also a bookseller and publisher. In 1612, Jan married the daughter of Jodocus Hondius, who was also a prominent mapmaker and seller. Jonssonius’ first maps date from 1616.

In the 1630s, Janssonius worked with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius. Their most successful venture was to reissue the Mercator-Hondius atlas. Jodocus Hondius had acquired the plates to the Mercator atlas, first published in 1595, and added 36 additional maps. After Hondius died in 1612, Henricus took over publication; Janssonius joined the venture in 1633. Eventually, the atlas was renamed the Atlas Novus and then the Atlas Major, by which time it had expanded to eleven volumes. Janssonius is also well known for his volume of English county maps, published in 1646.

Janssonius died in Amsterdam in 1664. His son-in-law, Johannes van Waesbergen, took over his business. Eventually, many of Janssonius’ plates were sold to Gerard Valck and Pieter Schenk, who added their names and continued to reissue the maps.