Sanderus catalogue


Old antique map of South America, by Jan Huygen van Linschoten.

Item number:26988
Category:Antique maps > america > south america
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Price: 5000 Euro ($5600 / £4450)
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Deliniatio omnium orarum totius Australis partis Americae, dictae Peruvianae, ... - Jan Huygen van Linschoten, 1596.

Old antique map of South America, by Jan Huygen van Linschoten.

Date of first edition: 1596
Date of this map: 1596

Copper Engraving
Size: 39 x 55.5 cm (15.35 x 21.85 inch) (height x width)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Original coloured, repairs at folds.
Condition Rating: B
References: Schilder 7, 10.3.7

From: Jan Huygen van Linschoten, Itinerario, Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien.... Amsterdam: C. Claesz, 1595-96.

This map sheet, with the north on the right, shows all of South America and also includes the Antilles, Florida, and part of the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico. A strip of the Southern continent (Terra del Fuego) is shown running along the left edge. Striking decorative elements are two elaborate scrollwork cartouches containing the titles. A circular compartment in the upper left corner contains the Latin title with the name of the engraver, while a square panel in the lower right corner contains a description in Dutch. The texts give a more extensive summary of the territories represented on the map (in translation): 'Illustration of all the coasts of the whole Southern part of America called Peruviana, starting from the Rio de la Plata along the coast of Brazil, Paria, and Golden Castilia, with all the islands called the Antilles, Hispaniola, and Cuba to Cape Florida; likewise from the isthmus between Panama and Nombre de Dios, all the coasts and the land of Golden Peru, with the capital Cuzco, and its convenient harbour called Lima; likewise the coasts of Chile, and the channel or isthmus between the land of the Patagonians and Terra del fuego; likewise all the harbours, islands, cliffs, sands, deep and shallow waters, with their actual extent very accurately indicated, revised and improved in accordance with the very best Spanish maps'. In the lower left corner, a simple cartouche contains the scale bars for Dutch and Spanish miles. A scale of latitude is drawn along the upper and lower edge of the map. A compass rose is placed to the north of the mouth of the Rio de la Plata; in addition, three ships and two monsters are shown in the seas. The land masses are decorated with drawings of exotic animals and native peoples.

In the text of the titles, it is noted that everything in the map image is 'very accurately indicated, revised and improved in accordance with the very best Spanish maps'. This remark does not mean that the mapmakers worked directly from a Spanish model. This map is based on the work of Plancius. As noted repeatedly, when composing his maps, Plancius mainly used Iberian sources drawing the coastlines. Here, Arnold Floris van Langren, who refers to himself in the map as Author et Sculptor, combined two of Plancius's maps to make an attractive combination.

On the map itself, the entire territory represented, bears the name PERUANA in large capitals. The coastline of the Atlantic Ocan is a striking departure from reality. It is shown running from the southeast to the northwest. This aberration may be explained by the difficulty of determining longitude, whereby too much width was alotted to the continent. Because the mapmakers also wanted to include the unknown southwestern coastline, this line is shown running in the wrong direction. With respect to the Southern continent, Plancius relied on tradition. Following in his foodsteps, the image drawn by Van Langren was the same as that by Plancius.
Along the coasts, and even along the Southern continent, one finds an uninterrupted series of toponyms, naming rivers, capes, bays, and settlements. In the interior, an extensive network of rivers and the depiction of exotic animals and indigenious inhabitants must have been intended to mask the actual ingnorance about the territory. Scenes of cannibals are drawn in Brazil, and two giants are depicted in Patagonia.

The five detail maps of Van Linschoten's Itinerario, all of which were engraved by Arnold Floris and Hendrik Floris van Langren, cover a large proportion of the non-European world known at the time. According to the map titles, these detail maps were composed with the aid of the best Portuguese and Spanish charts and rutters. These maps clearly reveal the influence of the set of maps that Cornelis Claesz had already published previously (1592-94), for which Petrus Plancius was responsible. Plancius's maps were copied for inclusion into Van Linschoten's work. These copies differ only in minor details from the originals. (Schilder)

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