Catalog Archive
Auction 128, Lot 849

"Insulae Moluccae Celeberrimae sunt ob Maximam…", Plancius, Petrus

Subject: South East Asia

Period: 1598 (published)

Publication: Iohn Huighen van Linschoten. His discours of voyages…

Color: Hand Color

20.8 x 14.8 inches
52.8 x 37.6 cm
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This is a very rare, and important map in the history of the mapping of South East Asia. It is from the English edition of Linschoten's Itinerario, printed by John Wolfe and engraved by Robert Beckit. The map itself was originally drawn by Petrus Plancius, one of the leading advocates of Dutch trade with Southeast Asia. Plancius based his map on covertly obtained Portuguese manuscript charts. The map is a vast improvement over previously printed maps of the region with most of the islands well-delineated or at least well placed and correctly named. The spurious kingdom of Beach, created by Mercator from a misinterpretation of Marco Polo, appears at lower left. Arrayed across the bottom of the map are depictions of nutmeg, cloves, and sandalwood; the sought-after spices of the famous Spice Islands. All versions of the map are extremely rare.

References: Suarez (SEA) p. 177.

Condition: C+

Issued folding, now flattened. Two areas of loss (approximately 1 x 1/2") have been replaced with neat facsimile affecting the compass rose and part of the clove illustration. The margins have been extended, top and sides, to better accommodate framing. These repairs are sound and the map is attractive as is; but they could be greatly improved by a skilled professional conservator.

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000

Sold for: $20,000

Closed on 5/20/2009