Auction 136, Lot 46

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

Subject: North Pole

Period: 1600 (circa)

Publication: Geographisch Handtbuch

Color: Hand Color

11 x 8.5 inches
27.9 x 21.6 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. Engraved by Johannes Bussemacher. Latin text on verso.

References: Burden #134, Kershaw #34.

Condition: B+

Expertly repaired centerfold split at bottom just entering map image, with a tiny line of facsimile on the neatline. Brown ink manuscript notations in the margins.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200

Sold for: $750

Closed on 6/1/2011