Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair


Antiquariaat Forum
Westrenen, Tuurdijk 16
3997 MS 't Goy-houten
The Netherlands


Laurens R. Hesselink


+31 (0)30 601 1955 +31 (0)30 601 1955



[LISTINGH, Nicolaas]. Nette prent-verbeeldingen vande twee kloecke houte modellen, ? van het schoone en kostelyke dak over de grootte saal van het stadthuys tot Amsterdam. [Amsterdam, Petrus Schenk, 1701]. Folio. Engraved title-page and 7 double-page engraved plates (including two with letterpress text below and the last 3 numbered 4-6). Contemporary plain paper wrappers.

One of two issues of a very rare series of plates with designs of a new arched roof for the Amsterdam City Hall, the building originally designed by Jacob van Campen, the greatest architect of the Dutch Golden Age. The city hall was completed in 1660 and used since 1808 as the Royal Palace of the Kings and Queens of the Netherlands. But already by 1685 the roof needed replacement, because its wooden structure was rotten.
"As for the problem of the lighting and timber vaulting of the Great Hall, expanding the time limits yields interesting results. On the one hand we find Saenredam's sketches of earlier rooms, including even Romanesque ones. On the other hand in about 1700 the lawyer and inventor of fantastic architecture, Listingh, published a proposal for gigantic lunettes to be struck in the sides of the barrel vault and glazed with representations of the zodiac complimentary to the large mosaics in the marble of the Hall's floor. To his taste the barrel was evidently too dark above the splendid white of the walls" (Kuyper).
Listingh produced detailed drawings and even made two wooden models, but the burgomasters did not even want take a look. To get the public behind his proposal, he published the present set of engravings and had one copy put up on the walls of the Amsterdam Exchange, together with an accompanying letter. As with many of his architectural plans, the present never became reality. Nevertheless, the design for the rooftop zodiac, to compliment the magnificent world map on the floor, is surely intriguing.
The title-page is cut short, removing the impressum, slightly dog-eared at the foot, slightly foxed and some minor offsetting, but otherwise still in very good condition. The wrappers soiled and foxed, and the back wrapper detached.

Amstelodamum XVIII (1931), p. 78; Cat. kunsthist. bibl. Rijksmuseum, p. 247; Kuyper, Dutch classicist architecture, p. 79; Meulman 699; STCN (5 copies); R. Vermij, "Twee wereldsystemen voor het stadhuis van Amsterdam" in: Dingen die ergens toe dienen (2017), pp. 163-166; WorldCat (same copies); not in BAL; Fowler.

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