Fine example of first state of Arnold Colom's rare sea chart of the Caribbean, the earliest separately published Dutch sea chart to focus on the islands of the Caribbean.
The map is oriented with south at the top and extends from Puerto Rico and the eastern part of Hispaniola to Trinidad, Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and the northern coastline of Venezuela. Colom's sea charts are based upon the information from Willem Blaeu's highly important West Indische Paskaert, the single most important printed sea chart of the Atlantic and Caribbean published in the 17th Century. /gallery/detail/32708clh
Colom's charts are of the utmost rarity on the market. We locate only 1 other example of the map in a dealer catalog in the past 30 years (Martayan Lan: Catalog 34, #58; 2004).
Arnold Colom was the son of Jacob Colom, a well regarded Amsterdam bookseller, printer, and chartmaker. Colom produced two sea atlases, a guide and pilot for the Mediterranean and a general sea atlas of the World. Colom's Zee Atlas, published between 1654-58, was one of the largest format sea atlases of the 17th Century, with each chart printed from an oversized copper plate. Koeman describes the atlas as "One of the most important atlases in the well known category of Dutch sea-atlases".
Apart from its rarity, the Zee-Atlas was of importance for its inclusion of the earliest Dutch sea chart of the New Netherlands to appear in an atlas (Jacob Theunisz Lootsman's chart is believed to pre-date it, but seems not to have been regularly published until later), while the "three charts of the oceans are on the same scale (1:14mill.) as Portuguese and Spanish charts of that time. It marked the first time that such charts were published as atlas sheets" (Koeman IV, p.115).