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Description

Fine example of Metellus' rare map of the Pacific, from Jose de Acosta's Geographische Und Historische Beschreibung Der Uberauss Grosser Landshafft America.

Metellus' map of the Pacific is among the rarest of the 16th Century maps of the Pacific Ocean. Unlike the other maps in De Acosta's work, this map is an entirely new production and is not derived from Cornelis Wytfliet's atlas of 1597. Instead, Metellus draws Abraham Ortelius' 1589 map of the same title, making it the second printed map devoted to the Pacific Ocean.

Ortelius based his map upon Mercator's world map of 1569, with details from 25 Portugese manuscript maps of Bartolomeo de Lasso which Plancius obtained and later used for his own world map. The map shows the Moluccas and the Philippines, already the site of considerable Dutch activity and a misprojected Japan. An odd Isla de Plata appears above Japan. Guam (Isla de Ladrones) is shown. Metellus follows Ortelius in redrawing the mapping of New Guinea in a very different fashion than on Ortelius' World map of 1588, suggesting he may have drawn additional information from an unrecorded voyage. Among other notable features, it is detached from Terra Australis. The Solomons or Melanesia are located, as are some of the islands of Micronesia.

The map reflects a much smaller body of water than the true size of the Pacific. The treatment of America and most notably the Northwest Coast is reminiscent of Hondius' America.

Reference
Burden, P.D. 122; Meurer, P.H. (Cologne) ACO 1 map Aco 20.