Jansson's Magnificent Carte-a-Figures World Map
"Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula", Kaerius/Jansson
Period: 1637 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
21.1 x 15.7 inches
53.6 x 39.9 cm
Petrus Kaerius's uncommon version of Blaeu's carte-a-figure's map of the world is a superb example of the map-maker's art. The interesting and detailed border decorations are identical to those of Blaeu and consist of allegorical representations of the sun, the moon, the five known planets, the four elements and the four seasons. Along the bottom are vignettes showing the seven wonders of the world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus straddling the harbor at Rhodes, the Pyramids, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus at Cairo, the Temple of Diana, the Statue of Jupiter and the lighthouse at Alexandria.
Petrus Plancius' world map of 1592 was the main source of geographical information. The map is shown on Mercator's projection with a massive Southern Continent attached to New Guinea, with the coastal names of Beach and Psittacorum regio noted from Marco Polo's travel memoirs. North America has the westward bulge characteristic of the time, with the Strait of Anian noted. Korea is shown as an island and Japan is in a kite-like shape. The map itself is richly decorated with cartouches, sea battles, monsters and compass roses. Geographically the map itself is also copied from Blaeu, but includes more legends and additions referring to explorations in the Arctic. A long note near the cartouche discusses the theory that the straits of Anian and Davis link to form a Northwest Passage. Kaerius also added rhumb lines radiating from compass roses arrayed across the equator. The map was first published in 1608. In 1621 Kaerius sold his plates to Jan Jansson who then issued the map with his imprint. This example is the fourth state with Jansson's imprint and no date. Dutch text on verso, published between 1637-58.
References: Shirley #264; Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #0001:1B.2.
Excellent impression and color with professionally repaired centerfold separations entering the vignettes at top and bottom. There are additional professional repairs in the blank margins to a small chip and tear at left, and to an abrasion that just passes the neatline below the vignette of Colossus, with a minute amount of neatline replaced in facsimile.