Description

These two prints are the title-page and plate 2 of a set of twelve etchings of various ships by Reinier Nooms, calling himself Zeeman (Seaman), which Beudeker included in his collection of engravings concerning Amsterdam, as being important for Amsterdam’s industrial and commercial life. This particular set had an unusual history, being first published in London by Arthur Tooker who may have purchased the copperplates from Zeeman himself. They were later acquired by Carel Allard of Amsterdam and republished by him. 

The title-print is known in a first state in which the large flag flying from the ship on the right bears no lettering at all. In its second state the flag bears two inscriptions, as seen here: on the left Tooker’s dedication to Samuel Pepys, in Latin, dated 1675, and on the right a statement that these 12 ‘sculptures’ are the work of that exquisite R. Zeeman who has both designed and engraved them. 

In the third state Carel Allard’s imprint has been added although the former inscriptions have been left unaltered, and it is this Amsterdam edition that Beudeker obtained. The title-print also shows stages of shipbuilding on a beach. The second print reproduced here has Allard’s imprint on the right, and Zeeman’s name and Tooker’s imprint on the left. The same arrangement is found on plates 3–11, while the last plate, numbered 14, has the imprint ‘C. Allard excudit cum Privilegio’ in the lower margin. Some descriptions mention the title-page plus 12 other prints, but one description of the work lists 14 prints, which shows that Beudeker’s set is incomplete, wanting numbers 12 and 13, and not simply misnumbered.

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