Catalog Archive
Auction 98, Lot 9

"[Set of 5 maps]Typus Orbis Terrarum [and] Americae Descriptio [and] Asia [and] Europae Nova Tabula [and] Africae Descriptio", Jansson, Jan

Subject: World and Continents

Period: 1631 (circa)

Publication: Atlas Minor

Color: Hand Color

7.9 x 5.8 inches
20.1 x 14.7 cm
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Jan Jansson engaged Abraham Goos, one of the most accomplished engravers of the day, to create these plates for his continuation of the Mercator pocket atlas. This interesting set is illustrative of the fluctuating theories prevalent during this period of discovery. The splendid double hemisphere map, though similar in style to its predecessor by Hondius, now features the Island of California with Terra Australis reduced to a faint shaded coastline. In contrast, the map of America shows the peninsular California and includes a curious delineation of the northwest coast of North America, possibly derived from reports of Juan de Fuca's disputed voyage. North America is separated from Asia by a narrow Fretum Anian and its coastline is bisected by an unnamed strait leading to the Northwest Passage. Other interesting features include the St. Lawrence River flowing from a small lake in the west and no Great Lakes and an area of shading in Virginia alluding to the possibility of a Verrazano type inland sea. The map of Asia, though engraved by Goos, strongly resembles Pieter van den Keere's configuration with Japan on the Teixeira model and the island of Korea (Van den Keere engraved many of the other maps in Jansson's Atlas Minor). The map of Africa depicts typical 17th century cartography with the twin lake sources of the Nile. The map of Europe shows the discoveries of Willem Barents in his quest to fine a Northeast Passage to Asia. A fine matched set of fascinating maps.

References: Shirley #325 (World); Burden #221 (America).

Condition: A+

Lightly toned with crisp impressions and later color.

Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000

Sold for: $3,500

Closed on 3/6/2002