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Description

Highly important map of the eastern coastline of North America, from the Outer Banks of the Carolinas to Cape Breton from Cornelis Wytfliet's Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum, the first atlas to focus on the mapping of the New World.

Wytfliet's map is a highly important record of the European knowledge of the region immediately prior to the English voyages of discovery and settlement in the region. Along with the Dutch voyages, the knowledge and cartographic depiction of the region would change radically over the next 30 years.

Wytfliet's map is the most accurate depiction of the region prior to de Laet's map of 1630. It is the second appearance of the name Virginia in the title of a printed map, following the De Bry/White map of 1590. The most notable anomaly is the depiction of the mid-Atlantic coastal region approximately 5 degrees north of its actual location, placing the Chesipooc Sinus (Chespeake Bay) far north of its actual location, an error also present in De Jode's 1593 Americae Pars Borealis. The map pre-dates the appearance of Long Island or the Hudson River. The source of the error probably derives from White's map of 1590.

The origin of the name Norumbega is controversial. The term apparently was an Indian name for a river. Jacques Cartier in 1534 brought back from the Montreal area what he thought were diamonds, later found to be worthless crystals. This may have contributed to the idea of Norumbega as a rich realm worth finding. Mercator in 1569 showed Norumbega as a place of importance as a fortified capital bristling with towers, near the Bay of Fundy. From 1604 to 1607, Champlain searched the northern coasts for Norumbega, without success. His map of 1612 gave that name to an insignificant Indian village at the mouth of the Penobscot and thereon the name began dropping off the map.

The present example is the second state of the map, first published in 1607. The second state can be determined by the removal of the date (1597) from the title and the erroneous 30 degrees latitude, which would be corrected to 39 degrees in the third state (1611).

In 1597 Cornelis van Wytfliet published his Augmentum to Ptolemy's Geography. The purpose was to provide a systematic description ofl the Americas, a part of the world unknown to Ptolemy. Wytfliet dedicates his work to Philip III of Spain. The book is a history of the New World to date, recording its discovery, natural history etc. Wytfliet includes nineteen maps, one of the world and eighteen regional maps of the Americas.

Condition Description
Lightly soiled and toned, few tiny chips upper margin, short split lower centerfold.
Reference
Schwartz & Ehrenberg pl.40; Morrison, R. fig.4; Danforth, S. #49; McCorkle, B.B. (New England) 597.3; Burden, P.D. #103.
Cornelis van Wytfliet Biography

Cornelius de Wytfliet (ca.1550-ca. 1597) was a Flemish cartographer most famous for his Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum. The work was published in Louvain, Belgium, and had nineteen maps of the Americas.