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Description

Finely hand-colored example of Covens & Mortier's double hemisphere map of the World, published in Amsterdam.

The map is a marvelous depiction of the routes of a number of important explorers, showing the routes of Magellan (1520), Le Maire (1615), St. Louis (1708), Halley (1700), Mendanna (1595), Antoine, (1710), Tasman (1642), Quiras (1605).

This edition predates Covens & Mortier's addition of the Russian discoveries, first added to this map in 1741. Interesting incomplete New Zealand, a hint of the unknown Southern Continent and incomplete coast of Nouvelle Hollande (Australia).

Includes the mythical Juan de De Gama's Land, east of Yeso and Japan. De Gama land seems to be a part of the pre-history of the Northeast Coast of America, which would soon be laid to rest by the voyages of Bering, Cook, and others in the region. In the early 17th century rumors began to circulate that a Spanish ship, traveling east from the Philippines to Mexico, had been blown off course and discovered a land in the north rich in gold and silver as all unreachable lands were. In later versions, the ship became Portuguese with a captain named Juan de Gama. In some geographer's minds, de Gama's land and Ezo were one and the same. In others, Ezo was a part of the Asian mainland and de Gama's land was a separate land in the North Pacific.

In the 1730s and 1740s, De Gama Land was a source of intellectual debate, not as to its existence, but its exact location, with such important explorers as De L'Isle, de la Croyere and Tchirikow each opining as to its location.

Condition Description
Original hand-color. Crisp, dark impression. Two sheets joined as one.
Johannes Covens Biography

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.

Cornelis Mortier Biography

Cornelis Mortier (1699-1783) was a Dutch publisher who specialized in geography. Cornelis’ father, 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 Johannes Covens, who had recently married Cornelis’ sister. They published under the joint name of Covens & Mortier. Their firm was one of the largest and most successful in Dutch history and continued in business until the late-nineteenth century.

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.