Willem Jacobszoon van Heemskerk was one of most prolific Dutch engravers of the 17th century (1613-1692). He was born in Leiden to Jacob Willeszoon van Heemskerk, a carpenter, and his wife Trijntje Jansdichter Verbeeck. Willem became a cloth merchant who was elected Dean of the Cloth Shearer's Guild in 1645 and President in 1668 and 1669. In September 1636 he married Maria Isaacsdochter van Swanenburg and they had fifteen children. He wrote poetry and plays and it seems likely that he was inspired to take up engraving calligraphy on glass by the embroiderer, poet and engraver Anna Roemers Visscher during her visit to Leiden between 1646-1650.
For a similar calligraphic bottle by van Heemskerk dated 1683, see Pieter C. Ritsema van Eck, Glass in the Rijksmuseum, Vol. II, Amsterdam, 1995, p. 103, no. 84.