By: Willem Blaeu
Date: 1640 (circa) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 14.5 x 19 inches (36.8 x 48.25 cm)
This is an authentic antique map of Guiana and part of the Amazon region of South America. The map was published by Willem Janszoon Blaeu out of Amsterdam circa 1640.
This lovely map of Guiana and the Amazon region also includes the islands of Trinidad, Tobago, and Granada. Drawing much attention just above a distance scale is the mythical Parime Lacus with the fabled city of Manoa or El Dorado located on its western shore. For centuries beginning with the Spanish Conquistadores, it was believed that the golden city of the Incas was located on the banks of this massive lake in the highlands of Guiana. The legend described a city so rick with gold that its ruler would cover himself in gold dust and bathe in the lake every day, thus creating a lake bottom of pure gold.
Many expeditions were sent in search for this lost city and it appeared on nearly all maps in more or less the same location for centuries, but never was found. The last explorer to attempt to locate an unknown cavitation in the area was Percy Fawcett whom in 1925 ventured into the Amazon leading a small expedition that included his son in search of what he referred to as the lost city of "Z." They were never seen nor heard from again.
The lake is thought to have dried up approximately 700 years ago but the area frequently floods during the rainy season and may well have been the source of the legend. Later explorations and satellite mapping a since discovered an expansive network of roads underneath the rainforest canopy and thick ground cover leading some to believe that the idea of this city at least had some merit.
The map is embellished with a large compass rose, sailing ships (two in battle), a sea monster and an ornate title cartouche. Contemporary hand coloring accentuate the beauty of the map.
Condition: Map is in A condition with lovely hand coloring and decorated elements heightened in gold leaf. Ample margins on all sides for framing and no tears or holes.
1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 | P: (312) 496 - 3622