Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 100

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

"America Septentrionalis", Hondius/Jansson

Subject: Colonial North America

Period: 1638 (published)

Publication: Atlas Novus

Color: Hand Color

21.6 x 18.3 inches
54.9 x 46.5 cm
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Due to its wide distribution by one of the preeminent Dutch mapmakers, this important map of North America had great influence in perpetuating the theory of California as an island. 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 Norto (Rio Grande) originates in a large western lake and flows incorrectly into the Mare Vermio (Gulf of California). 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 a blank cartouche at lower left. First edition, with Latin text on verso.

Provenance: purchased from Kenneth Nebenzahl.

References: Burden #245; Goss (NA) #30; McLaughlin #6; Tooley (Amer) #6, pl. 28; Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #9100:1.2.

Condition: B+

A dark, early impression with minor soiling and some show-through of text on verso. There are archival repairs to a short centerfold separation at top, a tear that enters 1" into image at top, and another tear that enters 2.5" into image at bottom center. Remnants of hinge tape on verso.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $2,300

Closed on 9/15/2021