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When the Greatest were at Home there

Amsterdam. General view with the IJ in front and countless ships before & in the harbor, of which two galleons fire salutes. With both the city’s coats of arms. Engraving printed from 2 plates at Caspar Merian (Frankfort on the Main 1627 – Walta-state in Wieuwerd, Friesland, 1686). (1654.) Inscribed as above. 8¼ × 28 in (21 × 71 cm).

Caspar Merian, Amsterdam

The marvelous panoramic view

following Pieter Quast’s with c. 10⅝ × 29⅞ in (27 × 76 cm) only slightly larger one from 1599 setting new standards by its “amplitude and the sheer audacity” as

Merian, Amsterdam (detail)

“ as much a portrait of the harbour of Amsterdam as of the city itself

and underscores the unique importance of maritime trade

as the principle source of the city’s wealth and power ”

(George Keyes, Pieter Quast, 1981), but here additionally with 24 indexed landmarks in the city.

Amsterdam ArmsAmsterdam Cog Arms

On the right Amsterdam’s original cog coat of arms, showing two men – knight & merchant – with dog in a cog, the former symbolizing castle & city, yet the latter loyalty. All three, however, sailing together on the ship of the future. On the left the conventional city coat of arms with the three St. Andrew’s crosses introduced in the 13th century and in use till today.

One of the most wanted views from Merian’s Topography, here from the volume of the Netherlands published by Matthäus’ youngest son Caspar. – With the inevitable folds, otherwise very fine, wide-margined impression.

Merian, Amsterdam (detail)

The value of Merian’s views for once based on their faithful depiction recorded on the spot, then on their meticulous execution in the plate. All this, however, has to be “estimated all the more as the turmoil of the Thirty Years’ War … caused the greatest difficulties”, albeit for Holland/the Netherlands the century as a whole was the Golden plain and simple, due not least, and going hand in hand, quite particularly to

the  bloom  of  painting  only  standing  the  test  of  time

with  Amsterdam  as  one  of  its  strongholds.

Offer no. 8,581 / EUR  1176. / export price EUR  1117. (c. US$ 1206.) + shipping


“ Thanks a lot for your answer to my request, in such a short time and in such a detail! I’m pleasantly surprised with the fact that you presented me 3 different options! The 2 options … although very tempting (pricewise, extra prints etc) do not interest me, because of the condition of the prints. As a collector I wouldn’t like anything else but the best – the first option. To be absolutely honest with you, I expected the price to be high, but not so much … (It’s a) ‘Museum quality’ piece … Congratulations for the excellent pieces you offer !!! ”

(Mr. L. M., January 12, 2016)