Catalog Archive
Auction 130, Lot 74

"Americae Descriptio", Jansson, Jan

Subject: Western Hemisphere

Period: 1631 (published)

Publication: Atlas Minor

Color: Hand Color

7.8 x 5.7 inches
19.8 x 14.5 cm
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Abraham Goos engraved this fascinating map for Jansson's new Atlas Minor, first published in 1628. The most dominant feature of the map is the curious depiction of the west coast of North America, which is completely bisected by an unnamed straight (Northwest Passage), possibly derived from reports of Juan de Fuca's disputed voyage. The bulging northwest coast of North America continues another 65 degrees and is separated from Asia by a narrow Fretum Anian. These features were derived from the Van den Keere and Plancius globe of 1614 and this is the first time they appear on a map of the Americas. Previous maps had depicted the supposed Northwest Passage through the Strait of Anian. Other interesting features include the St. Lawrence River flowing from a small lake in the West, no Great Lakes and an area of shading in Virginia alluding to the possibility of a Verrazano-type inland sea. German text on verso.

References: Burden #221.

Condition: A+

Faintly toned, overall fine.

Estimate: $700 - $800


Closed on 12/2/2009