Finely engraved sea chart of the Portuguese coastline, centered on Lisbon, which appeared in Johannes Janssonius's Het Licht der Zeevaert or Le Flambeau de la Navigation, first published in 1620.
Jansson's sea atlas is a copy of Blaeu's Atlas of the same title, first published in 1608. When the Blaeu copyrights expired, Jansson created his own work consisting of 40 oblong sea charts.
Engraved by Petrus Bertius, the chart is oriented with east at the top and shows the coast of Portugal from Peniche and Berlengas in the north to Sagres, Lagos and just beyond Portimao.
The present chart is a near identical copy of the Blaeu's chart, with only slight modification to the spelling of the last few words in the French title and also minor changes to the decorative cartouche and contents of the chart.
The charts for this atlas are titled in both Dutch and French and are extremely rare. This is the only example of the chart we have seen on the market in more than 20 years.
Jan Janssonius (also known as Johann or Jan Jansson or Janszoon) (1588-1664) was a renowned geographer and publisher of the seventeenth century, when the Dutch dominated map publishing in Europe. Born in Arnhem, Jan was first exposed to the trade via his father, who was also a bookseller and publisher. In 1612, Jan married the daughter of Jodocus Hondius, who was also a prominent mapmaker and seller. Jonssonius’ first maps date from 1616.
In the 1630s, Janssonius worked with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius. Their most successful venture was to reissue the Mercator-Hondius atlas. Jodocus Hondius had acquired the plates to the Mercator atlas, first published in 1595, and added 36 additional maps. After Hondius died in 1612, Henricus took over publication; Janssonius joined the venture in 1633. Eventually, the atlas was renamed the Atlas Novus and then the Atlas Major, by which time it had expanded to eleven volumes. Janssonius is also well known for his volume of English county maps, published in 1646.
Janssonius died in Amsterdam in 1664. His son-in-law, Johannes van Waesbergen, took over his business. Eventually, many of Janssonius’ plates were sold to Gerard Valck and Pieter Schenk, who added their names and continued to reissue the maps.