One of the Earliest Obtainable Maps of the North Polar Regions -- Large Inset of Mythical Island of Frisland
Important early map of the North Polar regions, based upon Mercator's map of 1595.
Quad's map is a reduced version of Mercator's landmark map of the Arctic from 1595. The North Pole is shown according to legend as a large rock in a giant whirlpool and surrounded by four islands that are separated by rivers. The magnetic north is depicted as a separate island rock just outside the polar mass. In North America is a very early reference to California ( California regio, sola fama Hispanis nota), curiously shown north of the El streto de Anian. The map depicts the attempts of Frobisher and Davis to locate the northern passages to Asia.
The map image is surrounded by a floral design with four roundels in each corner. These contain the title, the Faeroe Isles, the Shetland Isles, and the mythical island of Frisland.
Matthias Quad (1557-1613), a map publisher based in Cologne, was trained in the Netherlands by Johannes van Doetecum, who also worked with the De Jodes. Quad used many De Jode maps as a base to which he added additional information and decorations. Quad was best known for his atlases, which were part of the first boom in atlases best characterized by Abraham Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. In 1592, Quad released an atlas of Europe that had 38 maps. He expanded it in 1594 to 50 maps. In 1600, he expanded the collection of maps further still, this time to 82 maps, and called the atlas, Geographisch Handtbuch. All three were small in size, allowing them to compete as cheaper alternatives to the larger atlases of Ortelius, Mercator, and the De Jodes. Quad released one other atlas, in 1608, with 86 maps, the Fascilus Geographicus.