Valk & Schenk's edition of Jansson's highly influential map of the East Coast of North America, from the Carolinas to Nova Scotia.
Jansson based his map upon Johannes De Laet's map of 1630 (created and engraved by Hessel Gerritsz of the Dutch East India Company), which is generally regarded as the source map for New England and the Northeast, being the first to name in any form Manhattan, New Amsterdam, the North River (Hudson) and South River (Delaware), along with the first appearance of Massachusetts (and the recently established English Colony therein). De Laet's map appeared in his seminal work on America, which is widely regarded as the most important and influential treatise on the subject published in the 17th Century.
The two maps provided the best representation to date of the coastline, and are among the earliest printed maps to document English settlement in New England and Dutch settlement along the Hudson River. The map is also noteworthy in that it is the first English translation of De Laet's text on New England, and the only contemporary translation published, adding to the significance of its importance as a source map for current information on the region.
One curious feature of the map is Jansson's failure to include the updated cartography provided by Champlain's map, a fascinating nationalistic slight (Blaeu also ignored Champlain's work in his map of New England). This is also an early map to identify any part of the Great Lakes, with Grand Lac (Karpinski believed the lake to be Lake Huron, while Burden states that it is Lake Huron) and Lac des Yroquois (Ontario or Erie) depicted. In New England, the name Massachusetts is used for only the third time, after de Laet's map and William Wood's rare map of the Massachusetts Bay region. The only European settlement shown in New England is Plymouth, established in 1620. Bristow is derived from John Smith's famous 1614 map of New England.
Added to this second edition of the map are engravings of wildlife and an Indian village. The map covers the eastern coast of America from Nova Scotia to "C. of Feare" (actually appears to be Cape Lookout at the south end of the outer banks of North Carolina, not the Cape Fear near the South Carolina border). Cape Cod, Lake Champlain, Long Island, and the Chesapeake Bay are easily recognized compared to images on earlier maps. In fact, this map contains some of the earliest accurate cartography of the region showing New Amsterdam, Fort Orange, the Hudson ('Noordt River') and the Delaware ('Zuydt River'). For more than a century after its publication, this map provided the basis for many others of the area. This is the second printed map to name Manhattan Island (Manbattes).
The map was first issued in 1636, with a different cartouche and title ( Nova Anglia Novum Belgium et Virginia ). The second edition includes a revised cartouche and introduces the animals within the map for the first time. In the third edition, first issued in 1694, the map has been re-issued by Valk & Schenk, whose credit appears in the title. In the third edition, dotted lines are added for boundaries and a longitude and latitude grid are added to the map for the first time.
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.
Gerard Valk, or Gerrit Leendertsz Valck (1652-1726) together with his son Leonard, were the only significant publishers of globes in the Netherlands in the eighteenth century, enjoying an almost total monopoly in the first half of the 1700's. Initially an engraver and art dealer, and having worked for map-sellers Christopher Browne and David Loggan in London between 1672 and 1679, Valk established the firm in Amsterdam in 1687. Initially, they published maps and atlases, but in 1700 the company moved the shop to the building previously occupied by map and globe-maker Jodocus Hondius. In 1701, he applied for a charter for making globes and the "Planetolabium", designed by Lotharius Zumbach de Coesfelt (1661-1727), an astronomy lecturer at Leiden University. The Valks produced several editions of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24-inch diameter terrestrial and celestial globes. The cartography, as stated on the cartouche, is based closely on the celestial atlas Uranographia, published in 1687 by the celebrated Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687).
Around 1711, when he became a member of the bookseller's guild, Leonard Valk (1675-1746) came into partnership and his name started to appear alongside that of his father on the cartouches of the globes, although the earliest of these, both terrestrial and celestial, still bear the date 1700. Leonard naturally took over the business on his father's death in 1726, and following his own death in 1746 the firm was run by Maria Valk, cousin, and wife to Gerard. By then its days of glory had passed. Leonard Valk died in relative poverty: his wife had to take in the washing of their aunt to make ends meet. The late eighteenth century saw a number of successful reissues by publisher Cornelis Covens (1764-1825), who ran the famous cartographical publishing house of Covens & Mortier (1721-1866) in Amsterdam. This firm was the biggest Dutch one for publishing maps in the 18th century. It was located on the Vijgendam (Fig Dam), the southern part of what is now Dam Square, the central hub of the city. They didn't move out of their building, but they did change addresses. At first in 1795 the whole Dam was rebaptized into Revolution Square, then it got the name Napoleon Square, till in 1813 after Napoleon's fall Covens & Mortier were back again at the Vijgendam.