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Influential Double-Hemispheric World Map 

Striking example of Carel Allard’s influential double-hemispheric world map, featuring twelve smaller hemispheric and scientific projections. It was one of the first world maps to abandon an ornate and embellished style in favor of a more schematic and scientific presentation.

The present map focuses on twin hemispheres surrounded by eight smaller, circular projections depicting the world from various orientations, as well as four circular scientific diagrams. The projection on the left shows the Western Hemisphere, centering on the Americas, with Greenland at the northeastern border. In North America, California is depicted as an island, and a vast northwestern coast, Terra Esonis, stretches all the way to Asia, where an island north of Japan is labeled Yedso. In the South Pacific, partial coastlines can be seen for New Zealand and the Australian island of Tasmania, as well as the Solomon Islands and part of Papua New Guinea.

On the right, the Eastern Hemisphere shows Europe, Asia, Africa, and most of Australia (Hollandia Nova). The shores of this last continent are based on early Dutch encounters with the northern and western coastlines. While islands and the north of Europe and Asia extend toward the North Pole, the Southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans remain conspicuously empty, a departure from the grandiose southern continents often seen on earlier world maps.

In the top center of the map, a smaller circular projection depicts the Northern Hemisphere, with the North Pole at center. The corresponding Southern Hemisphere is at the center below the main hemispheres. Again, Allard has chosen to leave the South Pole empty, rather than fill it with hypothetical beaches and lands.

Circular projections in the four corners of the map show the world from slightly different, oblique or optical orientations. These allow viewers to understand which landmasses are antipodal to certain points. The figure in the upper left shows the antipodes of Amsterdam, with Amsterdam on the hemisphere in the upper right corner. The two hemispheres in the bottom corners show the world as if in 3-D, with the meridians curved to show the world as round, rather than flattened as many map projections do.

Two small polar projections appear at the bottom of the map. The projection in the lower left shows the Southern Hemisphere with the South Pole at the center, but it only extends to the Tropic of Capricorn. The corresponding northern polar projection shows the lands radiating from the North Pole to the Tropic of Cancer.

Four small circular scientific diagrams are depicted at the outer corners of the twin hemispheres. The diagram in the upper left depicts lines of latitude and longitude, while the diagrams in the other three corners show the relationship between the zenith, the nadir, and different horizons.

The present map was included in Allard’s Atlas Minor (1696) and, later, his Atlas Major (1705), as well as in composite atlases of the time. While his first world map, also a double-hemispheric projection, followed the style of Frederick de Wit and other seventeenth-century mapmakers in including lushly-illustrated border scenes and ornate decoration, the present map breaks from this tradition with its dark cross-hatched background providing a striking contrast to the other engraved projections. This simpler style lends itself to the natural philosophical details included in the map. The two cartouches illustrated as hanging tapestries at the top of the map, one in Latin and one in Dutch, retain some element of decorative embellishment, however.

This type of world map proved popular. Similar maps were produced by eighteenth-century mapmakers including Pieter Schenk, Adam Friedrich Zürner, Johann Homann, and Matthäus Seutter.

Exploration and Conjecture in the Pacific

The present map contains several noteworthy features in the Pacific Ocean, depicted in detail in the large left side of the double-hemispheric projection at the center of the map.

In the lower left of this projection, the eastern part of Oceania, while illustrating recent European exploration of the area, is incomplete. Only the partial coastlines of land masses are sketched out except for Papua New Guinea. The coasts of both New Zealand (Zelandia Nova) and Tasmania (Antoni van Diemens Land) reference Abel Tasman, as it was during his two voyages (1642–1644) for the Dutch East India Company that these areas were explored. Antoni van Diemens Land was named by Tasman for his commander, governor general of the Dutch East Indies Anthony van Diemen.

Farther north, just south of eastern Papua New Guinea (Novae Guineae Pars), the coast of Quiri Regio is outlined, with the Insula Salomonis nearby. The latter corresponds to present-day Vanuatu and references Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Quiros. Quiros got his start in the Pacific under the command of Alvaro de Mendaña. Mendaña led a Spanish expedition to the Solomon Islands in 1567-9, but his crew forced his return to Peru. Another attempt was made from 1595-6 to return to the Solomons, but they had not been charted accurately. Mendaña died on Santa Cruz, leaving his wife in charge of the settlement they had started. She decided to return to Spanish dominions and they arrived in the Philippines in early 1596.

Quiros accompanied Mendaña on his second voyage and was a skilled pilot. After returning to Spain, he convinced authorities that he could find Terra Australis, the southern continent, if they gave him ships and supplies. He set out in 1605 and eventually landed on what is today Vanuatu. He mistook one of the islands for the fabled continent and called is Austrialia de Espiritu Santo, although here it is Quiri Regio. Quiros intended to set up a colony, but his crew forced him to leave.

The northern Pacific also includes interesting geographic elements, reflective of information gleaned from the 1643 voyage of Maarten Gerritsz de Vries, a Dutch explorer for the VOC. De Vries is credited with charting islands and promontories north of Japan, which were then believed to be part of America. On the map, Hokkaido is clearly labeled as Yedso. Stretching east from Yedso to an area labeled Anian, just north of the island of California, is a vast, empty expanse of land called Terra Esonis.

Portuguese explorer João da Gama reported the existence of an uninterrupted coast northeast of Japan stretching from Asia to North America. This claim intrigued cartographers long after da Gama’s death in ca. 1592, as evidenced by this map created a century later. The portrayal of Terra Esonis, which suggests that Yedso stretches farther to the west and conflates it with Gama’s so-called sighting, may also point to some knowledge of the Aleutian Islands prior to documented exploration.

As far as evidence of the fabled Northwest Passage linking Europe to Asia above or across North America, this map portrays the “Fretum Anian” (Straits of Anian) separating Terra Esonis and California, but it does not depict where the straits lead to the north. The Straits of Anian were believed to mark the separation between Asia and North America, which would be disproven in the mid-eighteenth century with the discovery of the Bering Strait.

California as an island

Another noteworthy detail in the present map is the island of California, which can be seen on four of the eight projections. From its first portrayal on a printed map by Diego Gutiérrez, in 1562, California was shown as part of North America by mapmakers, including Gerardus Mercator and Ortelius. In the 1620s, however, it began to appear as an island in several sources.

This was most likely the result of a reading of the travel account of Sebastian Vizcaino, who had been sent north up the shore of California in 1602. A Carmelite friar who accompanied him later described the land as an island, a description first published in Juan Torquemada’s Monarquia Indiana (1613) with the island details curtailed somewhat. The friar, Fray Antonio de la Ascension, also wrote a Relacion breve of his geographic ideas around 1620. The ideas spread about New Spain and, eventually, most likely via Dutch mariners and perhaps thanks to stolen charts, to the rest of Europe.

By the 1620s, many mapmakers chose to depict the peninsula as an island. These included Henricus Hondius, who published the first atlas map to focus solely on North America with the island prominently featured in 1636. Hondius borrowed his outline of California from another widely distributed map, that of Henry Briggs and printed in Samuel Purchas’ Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625). Other prominent practitioners like John Speed and Nicolas Sanson also adopted the new island and the practice became commonplace. 

Father Eusebio Kino initially followed along with this theory, but after extensive travels in what is now California, Arizona, and northern Mexico, he concluded that the island was actually a peninsula. Even after Kino published a map based on his travels refuting the claim (Paris, 1705), California as an island remained a fixture until the mid-eighteenth century. 

This is a dynamic map showing cartographic theory and innovation, as well as the latest European understanding of the changeable geography of the world at the turn of the eighteenth century.

“Van Diemen’s Land,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed April 24, 2020; Barry M. Gough, “Strait of Anian,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, last edited March 4, 2015; Klaas Hoogendoorn, Bibliography of the Exact Sciences in the Low Countries from ca. 1470 to the Golden Age (1700) [e-book] (Boston: Brill, 2018),; “Planisphaerium terrestre sive terrarum orbis” [Object ID: G201:1/22], Royal Museums Greenwich, accessed April 24, 2020,; Elizabeth Savage and Ad Stijnman, Printing Colour 1400-1700: History, Techniques, Functions and Receptions [e-book] (Boston: Brill, 2015); Rodney Shirley, The Mapping of the World: Early Printed World Maps, 1472–1700 (London: Holland Press, 1983), 578; “The Spanish Quest for Terra Australis,” State Library, New South Wales, accessed April 24, 2020,; Thomas Suarez, Early Mapping of Southeast Asia: The Epic Story of Seafarers, Adventurers, and Cartographers Who First Mapped the Regions Between China and India (Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2012). AH
Carel Allard Biography

Carel (Carol) Allard (Allardt) (1648–1709) was an engraver and publisher based in Amsterdam. Part of a prominent family of Dutch mapmakers, publishers, and print sellers, his father was engraver and publisher Hugo Allard (1627–1684), who left his business to Carel upon his death. Carel published anything in demand, including maps, topography, ethnography, newsprints, and restrikes of old plates of artistic prints, many of which likely came from his father’s stock. In 1706, Carel gave his copperplates to his son Abraham Allard, before going bankrupt.