1623 America noviter delineata
By: Jan Jansson
Date: 1623 (Published) Frankfurt
Dimensions: 16 x 21.75 inches (40.6 cm x 55.2 cm)
This rare map is the third state of a fascinating map by Jan Jansson, which was modeled according to an earlier map created by his brother-in-law, Jodocus Hondius. The chip at the top right corner identifies the map as the third state.
This rendering of the Americas clearly illustrates how much exploration had taken place from the time Ortelius created his famous map in 1570. In this new version Jansson richly details the lands of both continents with known ports, missions, towns, mountains, lakes and navigable rivers. Though the shape of North America’s east coast is inaccurate, it is rich with Indian names, and is rendered in detail with place names, rivers and lakes, with dangerous shoals just off the coast also included. Mountains somewhat inland may represent knowledge of the Appalachians, while other mountain ranges are probably based on undocumented reports.
An elongated west coast is detailed with many place names, and California is represented as a peninsula. Jansson charts the farthest northern reaches of North America as an unknown space, and following the conventions of the time, places a large inset map of the known areas of the Arctic to cover the blank space. Central and South America are rendered in great detail, in places surprisingly accurately, while in other places the information is obviously based on hearsay and legend. The famed mythical El Dorado is alluded to by Lake Parime, which, according to Sir Walter Raleigh, was located near the lake. Many geographical features are quite accurately depicted, including the Andes Mountains and the Amazon River.
Interesting miniatures describe traditions of indigenous peoples of South America, along with a rendering of a meeting between Europeans and a local potentate. Jansson’s map is decorated with an ornate border on both sides and along the top with vignettes depicting many of the indigenous peoples found in both continents, and bird’s-eye views of major settlements in the Americas. The artist’s renderings of the native peoples of the Americas represent a wide variety of the many tribes encountered by the Europeans, from fur-clad Greenlanders to the King and Queen of Florida; the King of New England and the natives of the Straits of Magellan.
A complementary inset of the Antarctic appears at the bottom of the map. Fanciful monsters frolic in the oceans’ waters and stately frigates abound.
Condition: This map is in C+ condition. Extensive centerfold extension nearly divided the map in two has been professionally repaired on the verso, along with a few other minor edge tears. Some faint soiling mostly limited to the edges.
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