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Description

Second state of Seller's important early English chart of the Atlantic and the contiguous coasts of North America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa, identifying his many partners of the period, after the first edition of 1675.

This general chart of the Atlantic Ocean from Seller's Atlas Maritimus is one of Seller's most famous and influential charts, elegantly embellished with an elephant cartouche dominating the interior of Africa. This feature inspired Jonathan Swift's quatrain criticizing the ignorance of map-makers: "So Geographers in Afric-maps, With Savage-Pictures fill their Gaps; And o'er unhabitable Downs, Place Elephants for want of Towns." This second edition of the map includes the names of Seller's recently added partners. The partnership was created to save Seller from financial difficulties.

The chart finds is origins in Willem Jansz. Blaeu's second West Indische PASKAERT, published circa.1630, the first sea chart relating to America to use Mercator's projection. The coverage here does not extend as far westward and excludes the Gulf of Mexico, an area of little or no English activity or interest at the time. For his cartouche Seller draws upon the Blaeu version published by Jacob Aertsz. Colom, c.1655. Here though he is generous to the elephant, giving him a less onerous 'tower' to bear. Teh map retains the portolano style employed by Blaeu, with relatively little detail in the interior.

Seller's treatment of Tierra del Fuego is more up-to-date, with new geographocal is inserted around the La Plata River. The region between Chesapeake Bay and Long Island in North America is improved, an area that the early Dutch cartographers had long had difficulty with. Florida bears the standard early nomenclature of both the Spanish and French. Further north the toponyms are completely English. All of the English colonies are named including New Iarsey and placenames in Carolina.

A near fine example of the map, which rarely appears on the market.

Condition Description
Minor restoration at lower centerfold. Minor wormholes, expertly filled on verso. Generally, a near fine example.
Reference
Burden (1996) nos. 233 & 312/ Shirley (2004) M.Sell-3c no. 35/ Verner (1978) ‘John Seller and the Chart Trade in Seventeenth-Century England’ in Thrower, Norman J. W. (ed.) 'The Compleat Plattmaker' pp. 127-57.