The only known example of Peter Schenk’s wall map of Asia
By SCHENK, Petrus , 1710

Nova totius Asiae tabula.

Asia Continent of Asia
  • Author: SCHENK, Petrus
  • Publication place: Amsterdam
  • Publisher: Petrus Schenk Excudit. Met Previlegie P. Tideman deliavit G V Gouwen fecit
  • Publication date: c1710
  • Physical description: Hand-coloured engraved wall map, printed on nine sheets, joined.
  • Dimensions: 840 by 970mm. (33 by 38.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15703


A magnificent wall map of all Asia, extending from the Mediterranean and Arabia in the west to the Pacific and Australia in the east. The title appears in a separate decorative banner along the top; five vignettes of city views are attached along the bottom. An inset double-hemisphere map of the world surrounded by an elaborate allegorical cartouche, based on Joan Blaeu’s world map of 1648 (see Schilder, Shirley 371, and Wieder vol. 3) appears lower left. Schenk’s map of Asia derives from Jan Mathysz’s set of the continents published c1655 (see British Library), which were also based on Joan Blaeu’s world map of 1648 (Shirley 371): one of the significant differences being that on the main map Korea appears as peninsula, whereas in the vignette it is an island. The town views are also derived from Mathysz: Goa, a former Portuguese port on the west coast of India; Suratte, the first trading post of the British in India, from 1608, and a point of departure of pilgrims to Mecca; Batavia, present-day Jakarta, on the island of Java, and a significant port for the Dutch in the East Indies; Columbo or Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka; and Jerusalem.
Petrus Schenk (1660 – c1718) was “active as an engraver and publisher from the 1680s. His name appears on the title-page of Robyn’s ‘Zee-Atlas’ of 1683 and three years later a joint privilege was granted to him and his partner Gerard Valck. Koeman refers to a later privilege granted in 1695 to copy Sanson’s maps, including a world map which Schenk was ready to print by 1696 or 1697” (Shirley). He was born in Germany but settled in Amsterdam in the ‘Globe Kaart en Konstwinkel’ on the ‘Vijgendam’, where he became a pupil of the engraver Gerard Valck (1651-1726). In 1687 he married Valck’s sister Agatha. In 1694, Schenk and Valck acquired the plates for Johannes Janssonius’s ‘Atlas Novus’, which they reissued under their joint imprint. Schenk had three sons who all became engravers. The eldest son, Peter Schenk the Younger, also a cartographer, continued his father’s business in Liepzig. Younger sons, Jan and Leonard, remained in Amsterdam where they maintained the workshop established by their father. His daughter, Maria, married Leonard Valck, the son of Gerard, who continued his father’s workshop. Philips Tideman (or Tiedeman) (1657-1708) was born in Hamburg, but settled in Amsterdam as a designer. He was a pupil of Gerard de Lairesse and worked for Nicolaas Visscher II and Carel Allard. Gilliam van der Gouwen was a Dutch engraver from Amsterdam and a pupil of Pieter Picart. Between 1681 and 1713 he worked for Allard, Visscher, De Wit and Halma.
Rare: Schenk’s wall map of Asia is only known in one other example, as part of a set of continents, all of which are similarly rare, with only three examples of the map of America; and one of Africa known.


  1. Schilder,’ Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica’, 1990, Vol. III, p. 168
  2. Shirley, ’The mapping of the world’, 1983
  3. Hall, 'Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols of art', 1991
  4. Wieder, 'Monumenta Cartographica', Vol. III.