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Early Dutch Sailing Chart of the Central Coast of Morocco -- Agadir, Essaouira, Safi

Rare sea chart of the central coast of Morocco, centered on Essaouria.

The chart is oriented with southeast toward the top and extends from C. de Cantin (El Beddouzza) in the north to Agadir.

Near Agadir, above C. de Geer are 3 names of manmade structures

  • der Christenen Packhuijsen (Christian Storehouses)
  • Het Mooren Castel (Moorish castle)
  • Buerenmarckt (farmer's market)

In the 17th century, during the reign of the Berber dynasty of Tazerwalt, Agadir was important trading point with Europe. There was, however, no real port nor a wharf. Agadir traded mainly in sugar, wax, copper, hides and skins. Europeans took their manufactured goods, particularly weapons and textiles.  

The chart appeared in J Blaeu's Het Licht der Zee-vaert , first published in 1608. 

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.



Willem Janszoon Blaeu Biography

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.

Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.