Extremely Rare Chart Showing Future Site of Scottish Settlement of Caledonia
"De Cust van Westindien, van Cabo de Tyburon, tot Punta St. Blaes", Roggeveen, Arent
Period: 1675 (circa)
Publication: Het Eerste Deel Van het Brandende Veen…
Color: Hand Color
19.9 x 16 inches
50.5 x 40.6 cm
This rare chart focuses on the coastline between the Gulf of Darien and San Blas Point. This area was extremely important to the Spanish treasure fleets during the 16th century, and eventually became the location of the short-lived Scottish settlement of Caledonia. Along the center of the coastline is Ilha Pynos (Isle of Pines), and adjacent to it is I. Gorda, which is likely the Golden Island known to the Scots. The Company of Scotland had been instructed to build a settlement on the mainland near the Golden Island, due to its proximity to the entrance to the Gulf of Darien. Therefore it is most likely that the bay named Porta de Alla was the future location of the Scottish settlement of New Edinburgh, which was constructed beginning in 1698. Two fine compass roses orient the chart with north to the bottom and two strapwork cartouches complete the adornment.
Arent Roggeveen, a land surveyor and mathematician, taught navigation for the Dutch East and West India Companies. He also helped maintain their collection of hydrographic manuscripts and charts. In the mid 1660s, Roggeveen compiled a series of large-scale sea charts of North America and the West Indies, which was published by Pieter Goos in Het Brandende Veen or The Burning Fen. This landmark atlas was the first Dutch pilot to focus on the Americas, with a number of regions mapped in larger scale than in any previously printed work. After Goos died in 1679, his widow sold the plates to Jacob Robijn, who reissued the maps with his name added to the title, as seen here. Both editions are extremely rare.
References: Kapp (MCC-73) #15; Shirley (BL Atlases) #M.ROG-1b.
Minor toning and soiling with a printer's crease adjacent to centerfold at bottom.