Auction 139, Lot 704

"Carta del Mar Pacifico del Nord che Comprende la Costa Nord-Est d'Asia e la Costa-Nord-Ouest d'America…", Meares, John (Capt.)

Subject: North Pacific Ocean

Period: 1796 (published)

Publication: Viaggi Dalla China alla Costa Nort-Ouest d'America…

Color: Black & White

22 x 17 inches
55.9 x 43.2 cm

This is an Italian version of Meares’ great map of the North Pacific detailing the explorations of Captain Cook from 1778-79 and Captain John Meares from 1788-89. The map covers a good portion of the Asian and North American continents, but the primary focus is on the tracks of the various explorers through the Northwest, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii and through the Pacific to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Meares is one of the more colorful figures in the early European exploration of the Northwest coast and Alaska. He claimed many of the discoveries of others as his own and rekindled the idea of the Sea of the West and a Northwest Passage. His mythical inland sea appears stretching from the Strait of Juan de Fuca northwards to just north of the Queen Charlotte Islands. A note indicates that the American sloop Lady Washington captained by Robert Gray had explored this sea in 1789. This was a complete fabrication on the part of Meares; nevertheless it gave new credence to the idea and appears on several later maps as well. Imprints at bottom are "P. Giovach Pagani" and "Vascellini inc Giarre scris."

References: Kershaw #1176; cf. McGuirk #216.

Condition: B+

Issued folding, now pressed with a few faint spots and a couple of short fold separations in bottom blank margin that have been closed on verso with archival materials.

Estimate: $275 - $350


Closed on 2/15/2012