Rare Decorative World Map with Geographical Misconceptions
"Haemisphaeriorum Tabula Carthesiana", Schenk, Pierre
Period: 1700 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
23.2 x 19.1 inches
58.9 x 48.5 cm
This very rare map is a stunning example of the baroque style that was popular at the end of the 17th century. Surrounding the map are delightful allegorical scenes with mythological figures in the clouds at top, including Atlas, Diana of Ephesus, and a figure at left who is half man and half bird. At bottom are scenes depicting the animals of the earth, with a goddess of the sea attending the aquatic animals, and Cybele, goddess of Mother Earth, presiding over the terrestrial animals. In the top corners of the sheet are diagrams of the solar system and of the earth surrounded by signs of the zodiac and astronomical planes.
The double-hemisphere world map includes polar projections and depicts common geographical misconceptions. California is depicted as an island and to the north a long coastline extends west towards Asia, separated from North America by the Straet Anian. Greenland is connected to North America, and the United States and Canada are divided into Nova Mexico, Louisiane, and Canada hodie Nova Francia. The mouth of the Mississippi River is depicted too far west, extending nearly to the Rio Grande. Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and New Zealand are only partially delineated, and Australia appears almost connected to N. Guinea.
Shirley indicates that this map was occasionally bound in Schenk's Atlas Contractus, and may also have been published separately. Engraved by Abraham Deur.
References: Shirley #637.
There is a long vertical crease that runs through the center of Africa and Europe, resulting in some short tears that have been professionally repaired on verso. Several other minor creases have been professionally reinforced on verso. There are additional professional repairs within the south polar projection to a centerfold separation, two short tears, and a small hole adjacent to Australia, with a minor amount of the image replaced in facsimile. Some abrasions in the north polar projection have also been replaced in facsimile. The map has been completely remargined to accommodate framing. Despite these imperfections, this map presents itself very well.