Finely colored example of this important early map of the Straits of Magellan, predating the discovery of the Straits of Le Maire.
Mercator's map is the earliest map of the Straits of Magellan to appear in a commercial atlas. It is also a rare example of a Mercator sea chart, employing the style of Lucas Waghenaer's work, including a profile view and soundings.
Oriented with south at the top, the map features a magnificant compass rose, and 3 large strapwork cartouches, one of which includes a profile view of the entrance to the Strait, in the style of Waghenaer and the Dutch Rutter books of the late 16th Century. The ornate compass rose point downward, indicating North is at the bottom of the map.
Six sailing ships and both land and sea creatures are illustrated. The Southern Land is identified as Tierra Del Fuogo. In the Strait, there are approximately 20 place names identified, along with 30--40 soundings. Rhumb lines emanate from the compass rose.
The coast line of Tierra del Fuego quickly turns from charted lands to conjecture, trailing off to become a part of the unknown southern continent. One of the most fascinating and decorative of all regional American maps, illustrating an important period in the history of the discovery of the Americas and water routes from the Atlantic to the. Pacific, predating the discovery of Cape Horn in 1616.
One of the most sought after of Mercator's atlas maps.