Jacobsz's Rare Straets-Boeck in its Largest Dutch Configuration.
This Edition the Basis for the Third Part of Goos's Influential Zee-Spiegel, First Published in 1662.
As the first in a new generation of Dutch Golden Age pilot guides of the Mediterranean, this 1656 edition of Anthonie Jacobsz's Nieuw Groot Straets-Boeck represents an important marker of the utmost rarity in Dutch 17th-century maritime cartography.
While pilot guides of the Mediterranean had been incorporated into maritime atlases since Willem Janszoon Blaeu's early works, by the middle of the 1650s such works had, for the most part, been reduced to around a dozen maps. These pilot books did not appear to have much as much success or demand as the guides to the North Sea, as evidenced by the rarity of editions of Blaeu's Vierde Deel der Zeespiegel and the sparse map counts in Jacob Aertsz Colom's Deel der Vyerighe Colom. In this light, Jacobsz's decision to expand his atlas to 20 Mediterranean maps, with complete coverage of the European coasts of the Mediterranean, may have seemed a foolhardy business decision. However, Jacobsz's work was soon incorporated by both Arnold Colom and Abraham Goos in their sea atlases in 1660 and 1662, respectively. Colom's Lighting Colom Of the Midland-Sea copies Jacobsz so closely that his binder's instructions mistakenly refer to Jacobsz's numbering for the maps, and not Colom's. Goos's Straets-Boek, the third part of his Zee-Spiegel, draws heavily on Jacobsz and copies many charts. Of all these works, Goos's was the most commercially successful, and became an integral part to his Zee-Spiegel.
The book opens with a short introduction on the use of navigational guides and the tools of navigation. It possesses two regional maps, one of the Western Mediterranean and one of the Eastern Mediterranean. Apart from a map of Straits of Gibraltar, a map of the Barbary Coast, and an inset of the Nile Delta, the rest of the book covers a complete portrayal of the European coastline on the Mediterranean through western Anatolia, as well as maps of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, and Cyprus. These maps are supplemented by woodblock coastal profiles and charts of harbors interspersed throughout the text.
This 1656 edition is the first edition to include 20 maps and the last edition to include woodblock illustrations in the text, thus making it the largest Dutch edition of the Straets-Boeck. The first three editions (1648, 1649, and 1655) all possessed fourteen maps, covering the same region as the 1656 edition but two, reduced-size maps engraved on each plate for all but four maps. Later editions removed woodcut illustrations and were published in French and English, as well as the Dutch original. The only edition with more than 20 maps is the 1679 French edition, with 21 maps.
This example of the atlas possesses a title page supplied from the Nieuwe Water-Werelt, ofte Zee-Atlas. Intriguingly, Koeman does not appear to list a 1660 edition of this work, with his first edition being listed as 1666, thus suggesting the existence of a previously-unrecorded first edition.
[Title]; a-a4; [Four engraved double-page maps]; B-C4; [Engraved double-page map]; D4; [Two double-page engraved maps]; E-F4; [Two double-page engraved maps]; G4; [Double-page engraved map]; H4; I3; [Two double-page engraved maps]; I4; K4; L3; [Two double-page engraved maps]; L4; [Two double-page engraved maps]; M4; [Engraved double-page map]; N4; O; [Engraved double-page map]; O2-O3; [Engraved double-page map]; P-P3; [Engraved double-page map]; P4; Q-Q4.
Koeman lists only three examples of the 1656 edition, at the General State Archives (The Hague); Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam; and the van de Ver. v. d. Boekhandel Library in Amsterdam. We only trace one example of any edition of the Straets-Boeck having been offered for sale, listed by Nico Israel in his 1965 catalog XI (the 1667 French edition).