The World’s Rarest Map

“The World’s Rarest Map”

Visscher Piscator 1617

Visscher World 1617 16x24

The National Library of Austria in Vienna has a superb two-sheet world map by Claes Visscher (1587- 1652). It is untitled and undated. The engraving as a whole is a masterly combination of all the emblems of the age: the two hemispheres of the world, the heavens, mythology and the classical past, the pride of recent explorers, man’s duties throughout the changing seasons, and the Christian obligation of every being. The date of this masterpiece, has been deduced through geographic anomalies, at 1617. Besides its supreme rarity, it is a map of singular beauty, and in recognition of this, Lahaina Printsellers has re-created this magnificent rarity on canvas.

How We Re-created “The World’s Rarest Map”

Lahaina Printsellers acquired a photo lithograph of the original from the National Library in Vienna. Our agent personally transported the accurate but pallid rendering to Katmandu (Nepal) where we commissioned exiled Tibetan monks to recreate this rarity in minute detail. Using traditional techniques honed over the centuries the novitiate monks painted the map on cotton, using hand mixed mineral and vegetable pigments. The quality of the monk’s labors represent a level of discipline, precision and artistic value that we feel is a resource that will have dissipated by the next generation.


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