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Antique maps > europe > general and large regions > Antique chart of Europe by P. Plancius, beautiful engraved by Baptista van Doetecum.
Europam ab Asia et Africa ... - P. Plancius - B. van Doetecum, 1605.
Very rare chart of Europe, beautiful engraved by Baptista van Doetecum, with an inset of Nova Zembla
Size: 39.5 x 55.5cm (15.3 x 21.5 inches)
Condition: Backed with archival Japan paper, left and right margins extended: left decorative border reinstated (8 mm); right neatline reinstated, a few small tears closed, good copy.
References: Schilder 7, 4.3, state 2.
The chart was first published in 1594 by Cornelis Claesz in co-operation with Petrus Plancius. It was part of a set of charts for which the publisher had received a privilege from the States General two years before. Even though the map does not include Plancius's name, the authorship may be attributed to him in all certainty. (See Schilder 7, p.93).
The compass lines do not extend onto the land mass, because Plancius also gave due attention to the interior. With respect to the coastlines, the central part was without doubt derived from Waghenaer's 1592 chart of Europe. However, Waghenaer's map does not extend farther west than Iceland. Yet some of the results of the English voyages of Martin Frobisher (1576-78) and John Davis (1585-87) showed up on Plancius's chart of Europe. A characteristic feature of this period is the erroneous interpretation of Frobisher's findings, which led the mapmaker to draw in a non-existent sea strait to the south of Greenland. The presentation of the legendary islands (Frisland, Bus and Brazyl) is in accordance with cartographic standards of that period.
Geographically, the most striking feature of Plancius's map of Europe is in the upper right corner. The depiction found here is inconsistent with that of the main map, where the Russian coast extends beyond Vaygach to the mouth of the River Ob. Novaya Zemlya is shown as the southern tip of a hypothetical polar island. On an inset map, however, the image is completely different: there, Novaya Zemlya is drawn as two islands separated by a sea strait. To the west, one sees even more toponyms that must have come from an English source, as demonstrated by names such as Sr Hugo Willoughbes land, Macsin of Islands, Straight of Matuchin, and Promay Rio Where the fishe for samon. Having studied the English voyages, Plancius apparently came to the insight that Novaya Zemlya was an island. As a consequence, he ceased to believe in the old legends and gave no more credence to Mercator's drawing of the four polar islands. Below the inset map, a text refers to the fact that an expedition had been sent to this region in July 1594.
Plancius hoped, and not without reason, that the voyage would improve insight into the situation in this region. Since no mention was made of the results of the first Dutch polar voyage, one must assume that Cornelis Claesz had put this map on the market before the ships had actually returned. Nevertheless, the text is the oldest printed reference to the first polar voyage (1594) undertaken by the Dutch.
In this second state, the text in the cartouches is engraved instead of blank with printed slips pasted on.
Item number: 24365
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