Tesselschade was born in Amsterdam, the youngest daughter of Roemer Visscher. She got the name Tesselschade ("Damage on Tessel"), because her father lost a ship near the Dutch island Texel on the day of her birth.
In their correspondence, she is described as attractive, musically talented, and a skilled translator and commentator from Latin, Greek and Italian. They also praised her skill at singing, painting, carving, etching on glass and tapestry work. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam has an example of her engraving work, a römer drinking glass engraved with the motto Sic Soleo Amicos ("this is how I treat my friends").
In 1623, she married a ship's officer, Allard Crombalch. After he died in 1634, Huygens and Barlaeus proposed marriage to her, offers she rejected.