Striking old color example of Visscher's map of European Russia, with credit in the title to Nicolaes Witsen.
Witsen, the Mayor of Amsterdam, was an expert in shipbuilding and the Central regions of Russia. Among his more interesting accomplishments, Witsen forged a friendship with Czar Peter the Great during the Czar's visits to the shipyards of Amsterdam, helping him gain access to the Dutch East India Company's private facilities in Amsterdam and assisting the Czar in selecting Dutch Mariners for the Russian Imperial Navy.
The present example bears the name of Christopher Browne in London. Browne's name appears on several other Visscher maps and the two clearly collaborated during the later part of the 17th Century.
De Wit (1629 ca.-1706) was a mapmaker and mapseller who was born in Gouda but who worked and died in Amsterdam. He moved to the city in 1648, where he opened a printing operation under the name of The Three Crabs; later, he changed the name of his shop to The White Chart. From the 1660s onward, he published atlases with a variety of maps; he is best known for these atlases and his Dutch town maps. After Frederik’s death in 1706, his wife Maria ran the shop for four years before selling it. Their son, Franciscus, was a stockfish merchant and had no interest in the map shop. At the auction to liquidate the de Wit stock, most of the plates went to Pieter Mortier, whose firm eventually became Covens & Mortier, one of the biggest cartography houses of the eighteenth century.