By: Vincenzo Maria Coronelli
Date: 1691 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 17.5 x 23.5 inches (44.5 x 59.7 cm)
This is an authentic antique map of the Pacific Ocean showing portions of the Americas, New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia, and Japan. The map was published by Vincenzo Coronelli out of Venice in 1691.
This striking engraving provides an accurate look into late 17th century knowledge of the world’s largest ocean, “Mare Pacifico.” The map provides excellent detail along the western coast of the Americas with over 100 place names noted from just above the Island of California to Terra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. Just below Terra del Fuego, one can follow the route of Lemaire and Schouten, who in 1615-17 were the first to enter the Pacific Ocean by sailing around the horn of South America. This proved that Terra del Fuego was an island and not attached to the massive southern continent ‘Terra Australis’ as had been depicted for well over 100 years prior.
Remnants of the massive southern continent ‘Terra Australis,’ extend northwest to just below the Tropic of Capricorn. Not too far west is a partial coastline of New Zealand and a notation reading “discovered by the Dutch in 1654.” Further west is an incomplete island of Tasmania with a similar notation. The northern coastline of Australia is beginning to take shape but the continent as a whole still has a long way to go. There is some speculation and has been for some time as to whether or not New Guinea and Australia are attached as shown by a nearly complete coastline and lack of rhumb lines within the two lands.
In the Northwest Pacific, a delineation of Japan shows what is now the island of Hokkaido, attached to plausible Asian peninsula “Tretary de Yupi.” Just east, one can’t help but notice the large landmass “Terra de Iesso,” which is actually a grossly oversized “Itrup,” an island that is part of the Kruil Islands. As noted in the map, this land was discovered by the Dutch (Vries & Coen Expedition) in 1643. Soon after the enormous landmass was presented in a map by Johannes Jansson in 1658 and remained in maps (such as this one) for approximately 150 years.
Ornamenting the map are winged children of the sea, two of which are presenting an open clam spilling over with pearls, coral, sea grass, and shells. Another figure holds a coat-of-arms featuring the double headed eagle, a common symbol among numerous kingdoms, empires, and nations for over two millennia, dating back to the ancient Hittite civilization.
Condition: Map is in A+ condition with a striking impression over clean paper with full margins.
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