By: Jan Jansson
Date: 1636 (circa) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 14.75 x 20.25 inches (37.5 x 51.5 cm)
This is a lovely example of Jansson's map of the Caribbean based upon Hessel Gerritsz' chart of 1631. This map was preceded by one year by Willems Blaeu's similar map of the area. They primarily differ in the additional notations of Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Lesser Antilles found in Blaeu's map that are not included in Janssons. Blaeu also adds a cartouche off the west coast of Central America that holds a dedication to Albert Conrad van der Burch, a military officer and politician who lived in Amsterdam at the time. Jansson chooses to fill this space with an elegant script that reads "Mar Del Zur."
Much of the nomenclature and cartographic detail was drawn upon first hand knowledge from a 1628 voyage to South America and the West Indies by Hessel Gerritsz'. Many of the place-names found along the Gulf Coast and Florida are Spanish, suggesting that knowledge was obtained by Spanish charts, which like that of the Portuguese were very difficult to obtain without a fight.
At the time of printing French, English and Dutch merchants and privateers had established their operations in the Caribbean Sea, attacking Spanish and Portuguese shipping and coastal areas. They often took refuge and refitted their ships in the areas the Spanish could not conquer, including the islands of the Lesser Antilles, the northern coast of South America, and the Atlantic Coast of Central America. The map is a great cartographic reflection of an are of great importance, wealth, and conflict during the golden age of Piracy.
Condition: This map is in A condition with some tears confined to the margins that have been reinforced with archival materials. Color appears to be later, but very well done. Image is sharp and paper is clean.
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