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Detailed Northern Hemisphere map by Covens & Mortier with the Latest Voyages.

Place/Date: Amsterdam / ca. 1740
$900.
Title: Hemisphere Septentrional pour voir plus distinctement Les Terres Arctiques…
Dimensions
61 x 56 cm (24 x 22 in)
Identifier
NL-00651
Coloring
Original color
Condition Rating
VG

Description

This map of the northern hemisphere was originally produced by Guillaume Delisle. This later edition has been updated and reissued by Covens & Mortier and is significantly rarer than the original edition of 1714 (as well as the derivatives published by De Leth and others).

California is shown as a peninsula, but with a dotted line that reflects the ongoing debate over its insularity. Across the Pacific, Japan (Niphon) is shown horizontally, a typical depiction for the time. To the northeast is an unfinished island called Terre de la Compagnie. A nearby note explains that the coast was discovered by Jean de Gama. This explanation actually elides two popular cartographic chimeras of the time. Juan de Gama, the grandson of Vasco de Gama, was a Portuguese navigator who was accused of illegal trading with the Spanish in the East Indies. Gama fled and sailed from Macau to Japan in the later sixteenth century. He then struck out east, across the Pacific, and supposedly saw lands in the North Pacific. These lands were initially shown as small islands on Portuguese charts, but they ballooned into a continent-sized landmass in later representations.

The text surrounding the hemisphere reveals one of the sources for this updated work, a map by Jean Kyrilow, Secretary of the Council of the Empire of Russia published in 1734. His map was used to provide a more complete outline of Kamchatka and northeast Russia than Delisle had included on his 1714 edition. A letter from a Dutch resident of St. Petersburg, a Mr. Swartz, is included in the lower portion of the border of this hemisphere.

Cartographer(s)

Condition Description

Wear along edges and centerfold. Remnants of hanging tape on verso.

References

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