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“first sea chart of the western portion of the Gulf of Mexico”—Burden

Baroque Sea Chart with Highly Unusual Orientation

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322.     [MAP]. KEULEN, Johannes van & Claes Jansz Vooght. Pas Kaart Van de Golff van Mexico Door C.J. Voogt Geometra T Amsterdam by Johannis Van Keulen Boek en Zee Kaart verkoper aande Niewe-Brug inde Gekroonde Lootsman Met Privilegie voor 15 Iaaren [inset plan at lower left] De Haaven van Iuan d’Ulhua in t Groot [page number at lower left] 14. Amsterdam, [after 1695, but before 1734]. Copper-engraved map on heavy laid paper, neat line to neat line: 51.5 x 59 cm; overall sheet size: 53.8 x 60.5 cm; inset (irregular shape, maximum height and width: 12 x 16.6 cm), scale: 1 inch = approximately 12.5 English miles, baroque cartouche flanked by two winged cherubs, one with falcon and anchor, the other with snake and mirror; two compass roses, ship, rhumb lines. Professionally backed with archival paper. Lower 1.5 cm strip at bottom which comprises the longitudinal scale supplied in expert pen and ink facsimile; two tiny holes (not affecting image). A strong impression of this handsome old sea chart on an unusual orientation with north being to the right.

     This state is not recorded by Burden (592), who notes that Keulen’s first chart of the Gulf of Mexico appeared in 1684 as the tenth chart in the fourth part of his Zee-Fakkel and continued to be issued with changes as late as 1734. The present map is between Burden’s states 3 and 4, with the page number 14 engraved at lower left (but not lower right), Costa de Piscadoris added a second time at top center, large shoal added off the coast of Yucatan, shoal off Florida extended up to Baja de Spirito Sancto (the east coast of which has been extensively altered), etc. Not present are the augmented place names along the entire Gulf Coast, which were added to the fourth state (1734), and Vooght’s imprint remains, as does the name of Johannis van Keulen (subsequently altered to Gerard van Keulen). In the present copy the name Vooght in the title is spelled Voogt. Koeman (1967-1970), Vol. IV, Keu, p. 384 (129*). Lowery 236. Martin & Martin 11. Nordenskiöld 121:111. See also Koeman’s history of the firm of Van Keulen, The Sea on Paper 44 & Philips, Atlases 530, 3444, 3453.

     Burden, The Mapping of North America, Vol. II, #592 (pp. 253-254): “This [chart of] the western portion of the Gulf of Mexico…covers the coastline from the panhandle of present day Florida around to the Yucatan peninsula. The main feature of this map is its originality of form. It is the first sea chart of the western portion detailing the coastal waters of present-day Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The geography is largely derived from the exceedingly rare Hessel Gerritsz chart ca. 1631 [see also Jack Jackson, Flags along the Coast, p. 103]. The entire region had not developed cartographically in a while and all of the toponyms are old Spanish ones. The panhandle region lacks any recognisable feature… The Baja de Spirito Sancto represents the mouth of the Mississippi River.”

     Martin & Martin 11: “The culmination in the development of Dutch pilot books was reached with the publication of De Nieuwwe Groote lichtrende Zee-Fakkel by Johannes van Keulen in 1681. Van Keulen, a bookseller specializing in the nautical trade, retained the well-known geographer and mathematician Claes Jansz Vooght, who compiled the charts for his publication, which was issued serially in five parts, the last in 1683. The work…enjoyed a considerable reputation for accuracy and detail…. It represented the most sophisticated rendering of the coast then available…. It is no exaggeration to say that the house of Van Keulen, active without break from 1678 to 1885, was the largest non-governmental hydrographic office in the world.”


Sold. Hammer: $2,600.00; Price Realized: $3,120.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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