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Description

Interesting small map of the North Polar, published by Van der Aa.

This is the rare second state of Jansson's map from the Mercator Atlas Minor, with a new title cartouche with the title changed from Septentrionalium Terrarum Descript, the North Atlantic renamed Mer du Nord, and the additional of a compass rose. The map was originally created by Jansson for Mercator's Atlas Minor; this edition was published by van der Aa after he acquired the copperplates in the early 18th century.

The map does not follow Mercator, instead using as a source the many contemporary exploratory voyages that attempted to locate a northern route to Asia. Several fictitious islands, including Frisland, appear in the North Atlantic. Novaya Zemlya is connected to the Russian mainland, and Spitsbergen is depicted as two oversize coastlines.

This map, the first separate map devoted to the Arctic regions, is drawn from an inset on Mercator's world map of 1569. 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. 

Pieter van der Aa Biography

Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher who printed pirated editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated books, but is best known for his voluminous output of maps and atlases. Van der Aa was born to a German stonecutter from Holstein. Interestingly, all three van der Aa sons came to be involved in the printing business. Hildebrand was a copper engraver and Boudewyn was a printer.