|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Published||durch Author anonymu [Amsterdam, c.1700-10]|
|Dimensions||480 x 560 mm|
A rare and very characterful fantasy map of Schlarraffenland, published anonymously by Pieter Schenk, whose example, engraved at some point between 1700 and 1710, predates the better documented examples by Homann and Seutter. Schlarraffenland, the German equivalent of the medieval French myth of Cockaigne, is referred to in the title as a Utopia, though it was far from being the perfect ideal society popularised by Thomas More. Instead, the title is here used in the quite literal sense of a 'no-place,' an impossibility held up as a mirror to the follies of the real world. Schlarraffenland roughly translates to the 'Land of Lazy Fools,' a false paradise where all of the basest desires of mankind combine to create a land of enduring sin and depravity. The concept of Schlarraffenland is identifiable at least as early as the late fifteenth century in Sebastian Brant's Ship of Fools, though the treatment probably most influential on the creation of Schenk's map was the poem Das Schlauraffenlant by the Nuremberg meistersinger Hans Sachs. In Schenk's map, the nation is divided into various provinces and petty kingdoms, each of which is guided by a prevailing vice, from the Kingdom of Stupidity to the Republic of Lust. Schlarraffenland is bordered by the kingdoms of Age to the west, and of Youth to the east, while its northerly and southerly neighbours represent Heaven and Hell. Because of their vices, the northerly Jerusalem remains forever out of reach to the denizens of Schlarraffenland, in the Terra Sancta Incognita, an unknown Holy Land. Meanwhile, the eternal torments awaiting in the Hellish Reich in the south are held at bay by a wall which separates the province of blasphemy and false oaths from the ravages of the Tartars and their demonic colleagues. The title is enclosed in an oval cartouche in the bottom right corner, supported by figures emblematic of the vices of Schlarraffenland, including gamblers, lechers, and gluttons.
Full title reads: 'Accurata Utopiae Tabula, Das ist Der Neu entdeckten Schalck Welt, oder des so offtbenanten und doch nie erkanten Schlarraffenlandes, Neu erfundene lacherliche Land tabell Worinnen all undjede laster in besondere Konigreich, Provintzen und Herrschafften ab getheilet Beyneben auch die negst angrentzende Lander Der Frommen des Zeitlichen Auff und Untergangs auch ewigen Verderbens Regionen samt einer erklerung anmuthig und nutzlich vorgestellt werden'
Petrus Schenk, also known as Pieter or Peter (1660 - 1718/9) was a Dutch engraver and mezzotinter, and became a major publisher of both prints and maps. Born in Elberfeld, Germany in 1660, Schenk moved to Amsterdam in 1683 where he became a pupil of Gerard Valck. He became a skilled exponent of mezzotint engraving, which he practised until 1695, at which point he focused on making and selling maps. Schenk's work was similar to that of Jacob Gole, and was mostly copies of portraits and topography.
Condition: Central vertical fold, as issued. Small repaired tear to top of central fold. Minor creasing and tears to margins, not affecting plate.