Catalog Archive
Auction 194, Lot 683

Dramatic Sea Chart Featuring the Island of California

"Mer de Sud, ou Pacifique, Contenant l'Isle de Californe, les Costes de Mexique, du Perou, Chili, et le Destroit de Magellanique &c...", Covens & Mortier

Subject: Pacific Ocean

Period: 1721 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

29.3 x 23.5 inches
74.4 x 59.7 cm
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While focused on the Pacific Ocean, this uncommon and dramatic sea chart covers nearly all of North America and a good deal of South America. It prominently features the island of California using the information from Luke Foxe's map of the region with bays on the northern coast, an array of islands in the Mer Vermeio, and the large Agabela de Gato peninsula shown in the Pacific Northwest. The island of Japan is shown with an amorphous Hokkaido named Terre d'Eso ou Yedso from the de Vries expedition. Partial coastlines are mapped for New Zealand, Northern Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.

This map was first published in Pierre Mortier's Le Neptune Francois, which was the most expensive sea atlas published in Amsterdam during the latter part of 17th century. This map was from the expanded atlas with the Suite du Neptune Francois, ou Atlas Nouveau des Cartes Marines, a group of maps copied by Nicolas Fremont d'Ablancourt from manuscript maps collected by the Portuguese crown; a rare occurrence because Portugal was notorious for keeping their geographical sources secret. This example was re-issued by Johannes Covens & Cornelis Mortier after they took over the firm of Cornelis' father, Pierre Mortier. Printed on two sheets, joined as issued.

References: McLaughlin #137; Tooley (America) p.127, #64; Tooley (MCC-23) #57; Wagner #440.

Condition: B+

A sharp impression with contemporary outline color, issued folding and now flattened on bright sheets that have been professionally deacidified. There is some very light toning and soiling, as well as professional repairs to a few separations along the folds.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,400


Closed on 9/13/2023