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Based on Gerritsz’s Foundation Manuscript Chart of the Gulf of Mexico


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270.     [MAP]. BLAEU, Willem Jansz. Insvlæ Americanæ in Oceano Septentrionali, cum Terris adiacentibus. [dedication cartouche at lower left] Amplmo. Prudmo. Doctmoqu. Viro D. Alberto Conradi Vander Bvrch, I.C. Reip. Amsterdamensis Senatori… Tabulam hanc inscribit Guiljelmus Blaeu. [scale at lower right] Milliaria Germanica Milliaria Hispanica. [Amsterdam, 1640]. Copper-engraved chart of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean basin extending north to Virginia and the Chesapeake and south to the northern coast of South America; neat line to neat line: 38 x 52.2 cm; overall sheet size: 50 x 58.1 cm; title cartouche with two putti, lizards, snakes, bat, and turtle; elaborate dedication cartouche with armorial shield, Aphrodite with two snakes, holding mirror and wearing an elaborate draped gown with breasts exposed, putto reading book; scale at lower right with two putti (one holding navigation instrument, the other holding a cross), rhumb lines, three compass roses, ships; Latin text on verso, signature C and page 3, etc. Very light foxing, otherwise fine with generous margins.

     This map was first published in 1635 in simultaneously issued Latin, French, and Dutch editions of Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Additamentum III. The present map is from the 1640 Latin edition, as identified by Dr. Peter van der Krogt in Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici, New Edition, The Folio Atlases Published by Willem Jansz. Blaeu and Joan Blaeu, Hes & De Graaf Publishers, 2000, Vol. II, p. 117:(80)C; see also 9600:2B, p. 600. Goss, J. (Blaeu) p. 160. Jackson, Flags along the Coast, Plate 5 & pp. 10-11: “Its treatment of the coast was integrated into a number of important seventeenth-century North American maps…providing a near irresistible model for cartographers of the eighteenth century.” Koeman I, p. 94n. Portinaro & Knirsch, The Cartography of North America, pp. 178-179 (Plate LXXXVI). Burden, The Mapping of America 242:

Early in the year 1634 Blaeu had advertised that the German edition of this planned Atlas Novus would be available at Easter. However, his promise was too great to keep and the atlas appeared using a number of shortcuts. Many of the maps were issued in unfinished states, but for the map of the West Indies he had another solution. He masked off a large area of the West Indische Paskaert, ca. 1630, and printed an atlas sized portion of the North American and West Indian section. By the following year this new plate of the region was finished and included in the Dutch, French, German, and Latin editions.

Cartographically the map draws on the extremely rare chart by Hesel Gerritsz, ca. 1631. The area of coverage is exactly the same with the exception of Blaeu’s addition of the west coast of Central America. The nomenclature of the North American part is virtually identical, the only notable addition being the naming of VIRGINIA. It reflects firsthand knowledge of Gerritsz during his voyage to South America and the West Indies in 1628…. It seems likely that a Spanish chart was used as the nomenclature along the south-east coast lacks any of the French influences often seen at the time.


Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,800.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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