Rare map of the central part of South America, showing the region from Quito and Cap. D.S. Augustyn in the north to Porto Guasco, Isle S. Sebastian and Rio De Janeiro in the south.
This rare map appeared in the Van Geelkercken edition of Olivier Van Noort's Description Du Penible Voyage Ge Fait Entour De L'Univers ou Globe Terrestre . . . first published in 1602. The map can be distinguished from he earlier editions of the work by a lack of a left border, suggesting that the map was printed from what was originally part of a larger copperplate. The map is of the utmost rarity, with only one prior example being offered at auction or in a dealer catalogue in the past 30 years (Potter 2004). The map can be distinguished from the earlier editions of the map by the inclusion of the No. 12 in the lower left image.
Olivier van Noort was born in 1558 in Utrecht. He left Rotterdam in July 1598 with four ships, planning to attack Spanish possessions in the Pacific and to trade with China and the Spice Islands. His ships were poorly equipped and his crew poorly trained. Still, Van Noort sailed through the Magellan Strait, and captured a number of ships (Spanish and otherwise) in the Pacific. He lost two ships on the way due to a storm, one was lost in an engagement with the Spanish near the bay of Manila in the Philippines. The Spanish lost their flag ship, the galleon San Diego, the wreck of which was found in 1992 and yielded a treasure in porcelain and gold pieces. Van Noort returned to Rotterdam via the Dutch East Indies and the Cape in August 1601 with his last ship, the Mauritius, and 45 of originally 248 men. The venture barely broke even, but was the inspiration for more such expeditions, which later led to the formation of the Dutch East India Company.
The map was engraved by Baptista Van Doetecum, one of the best engravers of the period, whose work is now highly prized.