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Mappemonde Ou Description Generale Du Globe Terrestre by Chatelain

1719 Mappemonde Ou Description Generale Du Globe Terrestre

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By: Henri Abraham Chatelain

Date: 1719 (Published) Amsterdam

Dimensions: 13 x 17.25 inches (33 x 43.8)

This decorative hand coloured map of the world is from Chatelain's monumental Atlas Historique. Published in seven volumes, it was one of the most famous and prolific works of the early 18th century.

Here Chatelain depicted the planet in two hemispheres, below which he added a table naming the continents, incuding countries and capital cities as they were in the early 18th century. Geographical terminology used for topographical and nautical descriptions, along with explanatory text is also provided below the map.

On viewing the map one’s eye is immediately drawn to a number of curious topographical representations, including the erroneous depiction of California as a rather long island positioned just off the west coast of North America. Despite early maps showing California as part of the continent, in the early 17th century the misconception of it as an island began to occur and was still to be found as late as the mid-18th century. Even preeminent mapmakers such as Jan Jansson, Nicolas Sanson and John Speed depicted California as insular.  

To the north, an enormous continent expands from the northernmost regions of North America filling virtually all the space within the Arctic Circle on the depiction of the Western Hemisphere, and a rather large land mass is depicted in the Antarctic. Another mistaken conception is  the oft-repeated exaggerated east coast of South America bulging far out into the ocean.

The map of the eastern hemisphere is quite accurate in its depiction of northern Europe and northern Asia. China is in place with the Great Wall and the Himalayas clearly depicted. Southeastern Asia and India are distorted, and a large continent in the southern hemisphere called Terres Australes Inconnues (the unknown continent) is depicted, which includes the region where Australia is geographically situated.

A number of seagoing vessels sail the seas and numerous nautical routes of famous voyages are denoted in both hemispheres, including those of such famed explorers as Sir Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish, Olivier de Nort, and others. Decorative elements include representations of the sun and moon, a compass rose and leafy garlands which embellish the space surrounding the globes.

Condition: This map is in B condition with light foxing in the image, an area of slight discoloration on one edge and some fading of text in places.

Inventory #12170

1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 | P: (312) 496 - 3622

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