Catalog Archive
Auction 159, Lot 625

Impressive Map of Northern Asia Based Upon Nicolaas Witsen

"[Untitled - Carte Nouvelle de la Grande Tartarie]", Witsen, Nicolaas

Subject: Northern Asia

Period: 1700 (circa)

Publication: Atlas Nouveau...

Color: Hand Color

38.9 x 21.5 inches
98.8 x 54.6 cm
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This striking, large-format map is a variant to one published in Jaillot's Atlas Nouveau... and is identical except for this example has no printed title above the map image. It is based upon the work of Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717) who was a Dutch cartographer, authority on shipbuilding, administrator of the VOC, and served as mayor of Amsterdam multiple times. Witsen traveled to Moscow in 1664-65, keeping a diary and collecting artifacts. He became fascinated about Russia and obtained all information available at the time on the subject, including maps, travelogues, manuscripts and objects. In 1692, Witsen published the most comprehensive and authoritative work on Russia and northern Asia, Noord en Oost Tartarye.

Cartographically the map covers all of northern Asia from the Caspian Sea to Japan. In the east, Hokkaido is shown as part of a mainland peninsula here named Terre de Jedso, while a large Terre de la Compagnie is depicted across the Destroit de Vries with the notation that the land was discovered by Jean de Gama on his voyage from China to New Spain. The Arctic coastline has been updated in the region around Nova Zembla which is now depicted as an island. The map is augmented by two inset maps showing erroneous depictions of eastern Asia and Greenland attached to Russia. Above the map are the manuscript titles "Grande Tartarie" and "Partie Orientale de Tartarie." Printed on two sheets and joined.

References: cf. Pastoureau, JAILLOT 1F #353.

Condition: B+

A strong impression with original outline color and a 1" fold separation at bottom that has been closed with archival material. There is a faint damp stain in the lower left corner of the sheet. Issued folding. There is a faint blue shadow along the center of the map which is caused by our scanner and does not appear on the map itself.

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,250


Closed on 9/14/2016