This striking map of the world engraved by the Dutch master Jan van Doetecum holds the distinction of being the first world map to use a style of richly decorated borders that would become the standard for world maps for over 100 years.
The elaborate borders were inspired by drawings in the works of Theodore de Bry published a few years earlier and established a pattern of cartographical decoration that lasted over a century. The map also has great importance geographically, particularly in the mapping of the Arctic and the Far East. The map contains a marvelous attempt at a North-West Passage. Plancius himself instigated the three voyages of Willem Barents (1594-1597) into the area. He used this map to give cartographic encouragement to the Dutch crews by turning Novaya Zemlya into an island with open sea between it and the Arctic. A sprinkling of English names in the Canadian Arctic appear as a result of Frobisher and Davis's explorations in search of the passage in 1576-1587. The map is also a landmark in the mapping of Asia and Japan. Plancius was one of the first Europeans able to penetrate the wall of secrecy surrounding the manuscript portolan maps produced by Spain & Portugal. Some of the most significant improvements include the first incorporation of Teixiera's outline for Japan. In all, a gorgeous full color example.
Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) was born Pieter Platevoet in Dranouter in West Flanders. He trained as a clergyman in Germany and England, but he was an expert not only in theology but in geography, cosmography, and navigation. After fleeing prosecution by the Inquisition in Brussels, Plancius settled in Amsterdam where he first began his forays into navigation and charting. As Amsterdam was a hub for trade, Plancius was able to access Portuguese charts, the most advanced in the world at that time. Plancius used these charts to become an expert in the sailing routes to India, knowledge that gained him opportunity. Plancius was one of the founders of the VOC, for whom he worked as their geographer. He also served on a Government Committee to review the equipment needed for exploratory expeditions.