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Rare example of Jacob Theunisz' striking early chart of the North Atlantic, from northern Canada to the British Isles.

The chart is intended to depict the eastern approach to the Northwest Passage, over top of the North American continent. The map includes a detailed plan of the coastlines, soundings, anchorages, coastal details, towns, rivers, islands and rhumblines, along with a compass roses, sailing ships, cartouche and scale of miles.

The history of the sea charts published by Theunisz Jacobsz and his heirs is a fascinating one. Theunisz published his first sea atlas in 1644. In 1650, Theunisz sold his plates to Pieter Goos. While Theunisz had engraved a smaller plate for his map of the region shown here, Goos saw fit to create an entirely new plate, which appeared in his Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel. /gallery/detail/22290. Goos and the family of Jacobsz apparently retained a working relationship, as Theunisz continued to published sea atlases using the Goos plates, according to Burden. However, for reasons unknown, in 1662, Theunisz elected to create a new version of this plate, which, while nearly identical, can be distinguished quite readily by the inclusion of the Theunisz name at the bottom center of the map.

Burden records 4 states of the map, this being state 3:

  • 1662: Lacking Nova Francia. Lacking David and Hudson's Strait.
  • 1667: Coastline of Nova Francia added. David and Hudson's Strait are named.
  • 1677: Double lined box added around the Theunisz imprint at the bottom center.
  • 1680: "cum privilege" added to the imprint
Burden 372.