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This exquisite late 17th-century map by Johann Zahn features twin polar projections, presenting a remarkable view of both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

The map, extracted from Zahn's Specula Physico-Mathematico-Historica, is a prime example of the era's cartographic artistry, enriched by allegorical figures depicted in the corners. The map is vertically oriented, enhancing its visual appeal and distinctive style.

The Polus Arcticus (North Pole) projection showcases a relatively well-defined Arctic region for its time. Notable inclusions are the depiction of "Anian," positioned just above the top part of the fictional Insular California, and the partial coastline of Novaya Zemlya. These elements reflect the period's limited yet evolving geographic knowledge. Surrounding the Arctic sphere are finely engraved clouds and vigorous wind gods, adding a dynamic and mythical quality to the composition.

Conversely, the Polus Antarcticus (South Pole) projection illustrates a more rudimentary understanding of the Antarctic region, featuring only Tierra del Fuego as the solitary landmass.  Coming at the end of a period where mapmakers had spent the prior two centuries depiction an unknown Southern Continent, this portrayal underscores the significant gap in exploration and mapping of the southernmost parts of the world during Zahn's time and scientific acceptance that unexplored regions should be shown without mythical embellishment. The Antarctic sphere, like its northern counterpart, is encircled by billowing clouds and animated wind heads, further enhancing the map's aesthetic and thematic coherence.

Zahn's work is celebrated not only for its artistic merit but also for its scientific curiosity. He was a prolific author of optical studies and a disseminator of knowledge across multiple disciplines. His contributions to cartography are particularly notable for their blend of empirical observation and imaginative interpretation, making his maps both educational tools and works of art.