"Freti Magellanici ac novi Freti vulgo Le Maire exactissima delineatio", Hondius/Blaeu
Subject: South America - Southern
Period: 1630 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
19.5 x 14.8 inches
49.5 x 37.6 cm
Beautifully decorated map of the tip of South America with the Strait of Magellan and Le Maire Strait. The strategic importance of the place and the difficulties of navigation made this an important chart. The plate was acquired by Blaeu in 1629 from the Hondius' estate and he added a text describing the passage by Barent Jansz. Potgieter who accompanied captain Sebald de Weert to the Straits in 1599/1600, being the first Dutch vessels to sail through the Strait of Magellan. The coastlines of Tierra del Fuego (the land of fire) are incomplete. A quaint rendering of a huge Patagonian warrior and a tiny European accompanies a notation about the island's inhabitants. The map is richly engraved to shown the mountainous terrain and decorated with a central compass rose, galleons, wildlife (including sea lions shown with fish tails and lion's heads) and sea monsters in addition to the three cartouches. German text on verso.
Very minor damp stain at paper edges with a bit of faint offsetting, else very fine.