"L'Amerique", Aa, Pieter van der
Subject: Western Hemisphere - America
Period: 1714 (circa)
Publication: Atlas Soulage
Color: Black & White
7.8 x 5.6 inches
19.8 x 14.2 cm
The most dominant feature of this map of the Americas is the curious depiction of the west coast of North America, which is completely bisected by an unnamed straight (Northwest Passage), possibly derived from reports of Juan de Fuca's disputed voyage. The bulging northwest coast of North America continues another 65 degrees and is separated from Asia by a narrow Fretum Anian. Other interesting features include the St. Lawrence River flowing from a small lake in the West, no Great Lakes, and an area of shading in Virginia alluding to the possibility of a Verrazano-type inland sea.
This is an extremely rare variant of Abraham Goos' map first published in Jansson's new Atlas Minor in 1628. This map appeared twice in Van der Aa's Nouveau Petit Atlas, which was published circa 1714. The atlas was composed of nine parts, with the general portion falling under Nouveau Petit Atlas and then 8 individual regional parts under the title Atlas Soulage. This map appeared in both the general part and the last regional part, which contained maps of Asia, Africa and the Americas. Van der Aa revised Goos' plate by updating the title cartouche (in French with a square border) and replacing Goos' signature at bottom right with a distance scale. A small compass rose was also added in the Pacific and part of the outline of Terra Australis Incognita was erased. The atlas was only issued once and there is only one known complete copy extant, in the University Library of Leiden.
References: Burden #221, state 2; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #9000:352.2.
A dark impression that is a bit uneven in the title cartouche, with a hint of toning and minor remnants of hinge tape on verso.