Rare Late Edition -- Sea of the West & Russian Discoveries
Rare late Covens & Mortier edition of De L'Isle's map of the Western Hemisphere, illustrating the Sea o the West and the Russian Discoveries in Alaska and the northernmost part of the Pacific Ocean.
Includes a rare early appearance of the Sea of the West, as well as a curious depiction of the River of the West.
In the Arctic Regions, the discoveries of Christopher Middleton in 1741 and Luke Fox in 1631 are shown, along with Middleton's discoveries in Wager Bay in 1741 and 1747.
Includes the Russian Discoveries in 1741 which would become the southern Alaskan Coastline and the forerunner to the Aleutian Islands further to the west.
The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Valley have been significantly updated.
The voyages of Vaisseau in 1710, Mendana, Gaetan, Magellan, Le Maire, Halley and Tasman through the Pacific are all depicted, as is the West Coast of New Zealand.
No sign of the Antarctic, other than a note of a discovery by Drake just above the polar circle. The Pacific is dotted with mythical islands. Some detail along the east coast of Australia
Terres Australes ou Antarctiques is named, but without any sign of land.
Tasman's route past Van Diemens Land is shown, with a classic incomplete Australia and only a tiny strait between New Guinea and Australia, referencing Dampier.
Edmund Halley route in the South Atlantic is noted, as is Route du St. Louis.
The return routes of Tasman and Le Maire are shown eat of New Guinea, as is Gaetan's route to Mindanao through the Pescadore Islands and Isles de Palaos.
The Sea of Korea (Mer de Coree is shown).
Johannes Covens (1697-1774) was a Dutch geographic publisher based in Amsterdam. He is best known for his collaboration with fellow publisher Cornelis Mortier (1699-1783). Pierre Mortier the Elder (1661-1711) had obtained a privilege in 1690 to distribute the works of French geographers in the Netherlands. After his widow continued the business for several years, Cornelis took over in 1719.
In 1721, Mortier forged a partnership with Covens, who had recently married Cornelis’ sister. They published under the joint name of Covens & Mortier. In 1774, upon the death of his father, Johannes Covens II (1722-1794) took over his father’s share. In 1778, the company changed its name to J. Covens & Zoon, or J. Covens & son.
Covens II’s son, Cornelis (1764-1825), later inherited the business and brought Petrus Mortier IV back into the fold. Petrus was the great-grandson of Petrus Mortier I. From 1794, the business was called Mortier, Covens & Zoon, or Mortier, Covens, & Son.
The business specialized in publishing French geographers including Deslisle, Jaillot, and Sanson. They also published atlases, for example a 1725 reissue of Frederik de Wit’s Atlas Major and an atlas, with additions, from the works of Guillaume Delisle. There were also Covens & Mortier pocket atlases and town atlases. The company profited from acquiring plates from other geographers as well. For example, the purchased Pieter van der Aa’s plates in 1730. Finally, they also compiled a few maps in house. At their height, they had the largest collection of geographic prints ever assembled in Amsterdam.
Pierre, or Pieter, Mortier (1661-1711) was a Dutch engraver, son of a French refugee. He was born in Leiden. In 1690 he was granted a privilege to publish French maps in Dutch lands. In 1693 he released the first and accompanying volume of the Neptune Francois. The third followed in 1700. His son, Cornelis (1699-1783), would partner with Johannes Covens I, creating one of the most important map publishing companies of the eighteenth century.