Auction 134, Lot 50

"Polus Arcticus sive Tract, Septentrionalis…", Quad, Matthias von Kinckelbach

Subject: North Pole

Period: 1600 (circa)

Publication: Geographisch Handtbuch

Color: Hand Color

10.5 x 8.4 inches
26.7 x 21.3 cm

This scarce map is a reduced version of Mercator's landmark map of the Arctic from 1595. The hemisphere is surrounded by a floral design with four roundels in each corner. These contain the title, the Faeroe Isles, the Shetland Isles, and the mythical island of Frisland. The North Pole is shown according to legend as a large rock in a giant whirlpool and surrounded by four islands that are separated by rivers. The magnetic north is depicted as a separate island rock just outside the polar mass. In North America is a very early reference to California (California regio, sola fama Hispanis nota), curiously shown north of the El streto de Anian. The map depicts the attempts of Frobisher and Davis to locate the northern passages to Asia. German text on verso. Engraved by Johannes Bussemacher. German text on verso.

References: Burden #134, Kershaw #34.

Condition: B+

Dark impression with a small tear entering the map at upper right professionally repaired on verso.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200

Sold for: $600

Closed on 12/1/2010