The present map is bound into one of two known surviving examples of The fifth part of the new great sea-mirrour: discovering the west coasts of Africa with the great dial of America. As noted by Daniel Crouch Rare Books in the cataloguing of the atlas, which was jointly owned with Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps in 2012:
The so-called 'Burning Fen' is the most interesting of all the maritime works produced by Pieter Goos" (Koeman).
Roggeveen, born in Delshaven, came to Middleburg, the seat of both the Dutch East and West India Companies, in 1658. He worked for both companies teaching the art of navigation, and helped to maintain their collections of hydrographic manuscripts and charts, including Spanish portolans of the West Indies. In the mid-1660s, assisted by his access to these collections, Roggeveen embarked upon compiling a series of large- scale charts of the North American coastline, West Indies, and, later, West Africa. Many of his charts are based upon the earlier large-scale work of Hessel Gerritsz and Joan Vingboons, both cartographers for the Dutch East and West India Companies, but Roggeveen's work was the first to show the whole coastline of North America and the Caribbean. He called this pilot 'Het Brandende Veen' or 'The Burning Fen'; a pun on his name, as 'veen' means 'fen', and a heap of burning fen represents a fire on the coast to guide or warn ships.
The first edition of the atlas was published in 1675 by Pieter Goos; however, due to the death of Goos in the same year, and that of Roggeveen four years later, a second edition would not be published until 1680, by which time the plates had been acquired by the chart dealer Jacobus Robijn. Robijn went on to republish the second edition in 1689, with a third edition appearing in 1698. For the second edition Robijn also published an edition with English text and added several of his own maps, including maps of the Carolinas and Chesapeake. After Robijn's death, sometime between 1706-1717, the plates passed into the hands of the chart seller Johannes Loots (1665-1726), who added his imprint to the majority of the charts and published at least 2 English editions (the earliest circa 1706 and the second in 1717), each of which survives in a single incomplete example.
Johannes Loots (1665 - 1726) was a publisher of sea charts who was active from the 1693 until his death in 1726. Loots began his career as an apprentice to Hendrick Doncker and later set up his own shop on Nieuwebrugsteeg in Amsterdam, in 1693. Between 1695 and 1698, Loots, Claes de Vries (a surveyor-cartographer) and Antoni de Winter (an engraver) entered into a joint venture to produce 200 sea charts on a Mercator Projection ( Van Keulen Cartography, p 46). The plans were advertised in the Amsterdamsche Courant in August and October 1698 and several charts offered separately. However, the venture only produced 120 charts (V an Keulen Cartography, p. 47), and the partnership dissolved in 1707, with Claas de Vries selling at least 17 charts, including 16 large plates of the English Channel and a smaller plate of the Hull River, to Gerard Van Keulen on September 24, 1707 for 374 guilders) ( Van Keulen Cartography, p. 16).
In 1707, Loots sold 100 charts on a Mercator Projection to Gerard Van Keulen. Prior to that, in 1706, Loots purchased the plates of Jacob Robijn, which included the charts originally engraved by Arent Roggeveen for his Burnng Fen and charts engraved by Robijn which replaced and updated Roggeveen's map, including Robijn's map of the Carolinas and map of the Chesapeake. These include a rare set of charts of the North American and Caribbean Coastlines, which were a significant improvement over the contemporary sea charts issued by Van Loon and Goos (for whom Roggeveen had originally made the charts).
At some point, Loots or his widow must have re-acquired the plates sold to Van Keulen, as Loots' widow and her brother, Isaac Swigerts, continued to publish later editions of some of the charts until 1750, when Swigerts,sold the remainder of the Loots charts to Johannes Van Keulen II. These plates were re-engraved to include the Van Keulen name thereafter. At the time of his death, the inventory notes The inventory of Isaac Swigters estate includes 10,816 various maps, presumably, his unsold inventory.
During the life of Loots sea charts, it is known that some of the charts were copied by both Seller and Grierson.
While an inventory of Loots shop included 464 copper plates, the number of plates known to have been published by Loots is far fewer and it would appear that this inventory included multi-plate charts and non-cartographic material.
Loots' charts are extremely rare on the market. In 2011, when we acquired a group of approximately 10 charts and chart fragments from a small working atlas of Loots, AMPR recorded total of only 5 records of Loots charts offered for sale at auction or dealer catalogues in the prior 30 years. In 2012, we subsequently acquired an incomplete Loots edition of the Roggeveen - Robijn American Coastal Pilot referenced above, bound with an equal rare coastal pilot and set of sailing directions for the English Channel.
Arent Roggeveen was a land surveyor, mathematician, poet and teacher of navigation. Born in Delfshaven, he later moved to Middelburg where both the Dutch East and West India Companies were based. He was employed by both companies as a teacher in the art of navigation. He also helped maintain their collections of hydrographic manuscripts and charts, including Spanish portulanos of the West Indies. In the mid-1660s, Roggeveen compiled a series of large scale charts of the North American coastline, West Indies and later, West Africa. His Het Brandende Veen or The Burning Fen represented a landmark in the coastal charting of North America, with a number of regions mapped in a larger scale than in any previously printed work. Roggeveen arranged for Pieter Goos, one of the leading engravers and publishers of maritime books in Amsterdam to publish the collection. The completed work was the first Dutch pilot that was focused on select areas of the American coastline. Previously, all printed maps and charts that dealt with this coastline were on a much larger scale.
Roggeveen died in 1679. Goos' widow sold the plates to Jacob Robijn, who reissued the maps with his name added to the title, but otherwise unchanged, in 1680. Both examples of the map are extremely rare. The atlases were undoubtedly published in limited quantities. Working sea charts and pilots from the 17th Century are inherently rare due to the nature of their use aboard ships. The vast majority of them were either destroyed by use or destroyed intentionally when new updated versions were obtained.