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One of the Earliest Dutch Sea Charts of the New World

Highly important early separately issued chart of the Western Atlantic and contiguous parts of the Northeastern US and Northern South America, published by Anthonie Jacobsz Theunisz in Amsterdam.

This attractive sea chart assumes the perspective of the westward direction facing upwards and embraces the Western Atlantic Ocean from the Canaries and Azores, in the east, to the eastern reaches of the American continents. It features North America from Delaware up to and including Newfoundland, the West Indies from Hispaniola through to the Barbados, and South America from eastern Colombia through to Pernambuco, Brazil.

Cartographically, the depiction of the Mid-Atlantic region, New England and eastern Canada is novel and distinct. The depiction of the American coasts running from the Delaware River to Cape Cod departs from the portrayal commonly used on contemporary Dutch charts that were largely derived from Adiaen Block's maps of 1614. On the present chart, Long Island is more correctly shown to have an elongated (as opposed to bulbous) form, while Narragansett Bay is shown to correctly open to the south (whereas the Block maps show the mouth of the bay to be sheltered by an island). The Hudson and the Connecticut Rivers are shown to be of exaggerated width, likely as a point of visual emphasis on their utility for inland travel, as opposed to being an accurate depiction of their breadth. Colom likely had access to a variety of Dutch sources emanating from the activities of the Dutch West India Company (the VOC). As a result of its control of the colony of New Netherlands, the VOC controlled the region extending roughly from modern Delaware to Connecticut, holdings which they would maintain until the English conquest of New Amsterdam (New York) in 1664.

Colom's depiction of Atlantic Canada and Northern New England is likewise interesting. The coasts of Massachusetts Bay and the Gulf of Maine roughly follow the outline shown on John Smith's 1616 map. The overall shape of the Gulf and estuary of St. Lawrence is roughly derived from Samuel de Champlain's 1632 map, but is not a precise copy. Likewise, while not a clear case of duplication, the Nova Scotian peninsula is shown to take on a more bulbous form, akin to that shown on Sir William Alexander Stirlings' 1625 map. Newfoundland assumes a block-like from, in line with recent English cartography, notably John Mason's 1625 map.

Further south, the depiction of the eastern Caribbean is relatively conventional for the time, and shows the WIC's direct experience in the region, having recently settled a number of islands, including Curaçao and Saint Martin. The coasts of South America prominently feature the mouths of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. The mapping of Northeastern Brazil is derived from WIC maps disseminated by Caspar Barlaeus during the recent Dutch hegemony over the region (the Portuguese only managed to evict the Dutch from the region in 1654, the year before this map was issued).

Theunisz's chart was published in response to the commercial success of Blau's West Indischen Pasckaert, as a means of offering the same map in sheets, which could also be bound into an atlas. Theunisz map was the progenitor of an entire series of maps which covered the same region, including Colom (1656), Doncker( 1659), Van Loon (1661), Colom (1663), Goos (1666), Doncker (1672), De Wit (1675), Robihn (1683) and Loots (1707).

Theunisz charts are very rare on the market.