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Jan Jansson:  Septentrionalium Terrarum descript

Maps of Northwest America (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana)

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Title: Septentrionalium Terrarum descript

Map Maker: Jan Jansson

Place / Date: Amsterdam / 1628 ca

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 8 x 5.5 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $575.00

Inventory ID: 51587


Nice example of this fine miniature map of the North Polar regions, being a reduced copy of the first separate map of the North Polar Regions.

The map is extended to 60 degrees, to incorporate the recent explorations in search of the North West and North East Passages by Frobisher and Davis.  The Straits of Anian is clearly shown. The pole itself is no longer made up of four surrounding islands, illustrated by Mercator in his large map, which myth had it, were separated by four strong flowing rivers. These carried the oceans of the world towards a giant whirlpool at the pole where there stood a large rock. An account of this myth in Mercator’s own hand still exists.

Though first issued in the 1628 edition of Atlas Minor Gerardi Mercatoris published by Jansson, and often listed under Mercator, the map is Jansson's creation, as Phillip Burden notes:

It did not follow the school of Mercator, but used the knowledge of the many recent voyages of exploration for the North West and North East Passages. Unfortunately Hudson Bay itself was one area that was omitted. Here Janssonius tried to reconcile that which was known of the North West Passage with the age-old belief in a Lake Conibus, feeding into the polar sea from the north of the continent. Some other theories illustrated include the fictitious islands in the North Atlantic, the most notable of which is Frisland. A rudimentary Strait of Anian is depicted.

Burden attributes the engraving of this particular plate to Abraham Goos.   

Related Categories:
Maps of Alaska
Maps of Northwest America (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana)
Polar Maps