Amsterdam during the Golden Age
By COVENS, Johannes & MORTIER, Cornelis, 1725
Novissima Amstelodami Tabula.
- Author: COVENS, Johannes & MORTIER, Cornelis
- Publication place: [Amsterdam
- Publisher: Covens and Mortier
- Publication date: c1725-1730].
- Physical description: Large engraved map on four sheets joined, flanked by two keys and with a panorama of Amsterdam below.
- Dimensions: 960 by 1140mm (37.75 by 45 inches).
- Inventory reference: 14467
The present work is an unrecorded state of Covens and Mortier’s four sheet plan of Amsterdam. The map is a later state than the example housed in the Stadsarchief, with the addition of three small islands and a windmill to the north of the Xoutkeetsgracht, west of the Blauwhoofd. The three islands would later become part of the Van Diemenstraat, Barentszstraat, Houtmankade, thus forming the eastern part of the Zeeheldenbuurt. The panorama below, which depicts the IJ teeming with merchnat ships, is based on Johannes Kip’s view, first issued by Jochem Bormeester in 1685.
The plan shows Amsterdam at the height of her powers, with the great Three Canals Project nearing completion. The Project, which was begun in 1610, was brought about by the rapid growth in the city’s population. The population had doubled between 1567 and 1610 to 50,000, and would by 1660 have quadrupled to 200,000. In order to cope with the ballooning population, the city council implemented the construction of three great semicircular canals, the erection of buildings on pilings, sanitary arrangements for each house, a network of drains and sewers, and the construction of merchants’ houses with storage facilities on the upper floors and warehouses near the mouth of the Amstel. The council expropriated the land, dug the canals, and laid out lots for sale to private individuals for housing, thus allowing some of the cost of construction to be recouped. At the end of the project Amsterdam had expanded from 450 to 1,800 acres.
Rare we are only able to trace one other example appearing on the market in the last 50 years.