Catalog Archive
Auction 158, Lot 63

Rare First State of One of the Most Important Maps Perpetuating the Myth of the Island of California

"America Septentrionalis", Hondius, Henricus

Subject: Colonial North America

Period: 1639 (circa)

Publication: Novel Atlas

Color: Hand Color

21.3 x 18 inches
54.1 x 45.7 cm
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This stunning, important map of North America had great influence in perpetuating the theory of California as an island due to its wide distribution via this preeminent Dutch publishing firm. The map is a careful compilation of various sources and represents the state of cartographic knowledge at the time. The insular California is derived directly from Henry Briggs, as is the depiction of the Arctic. A great number of place names are revealed on California, including po. de S. Diego (San Diego) and Po. Sir Francisco Draco (San Francisco). The Rio del Nort originates in a large western lake and flows incorrectly into the Mare Vermio. The cartography of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida is based on Hessel Gerritsz. On the east coast the region identified as Novum Belgium is greatly elongated; Iames Towne and a few place names from John Smith's map appear in Nova Anglia. There is a single Lac des Iroquois in the Great Lakes region. The map is richly embellished with a variety of animals throughout the interior. The oceans are teeming with ships and sea monsters. The title cartouche features several Native Americans and two comely mermaids flank the imprint cartouche. This is the rare, first state with the imprint cartouche blank and French text on verso, published between 1639-1649.

References: Burden #245; McLaughlin #6; Tooley (Amer) #6, pl. 28; Goss (NA) #30; Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #9100:1.1.

Condition: B+

A strong impression with superb, full original color, faint color offsetting, a few spots of foxing, and one rust spot to the west of Mexico City. Faint show-through of text on verso.

Estimate: $3,000 - $3,750

Sold for: $2,400

Closed on 6/22/2016