By: Nicolas De Fer
Date: 1705 (Published) Paris
Dimensions: 12.25 x 24 inches (31.11cm x 60.96cm)
This is an authentic, antique map of northern South America which was published in 1705 by Nicolas de Fer.
This map of northern South America extends from Panama in the north to Rio De Janeiro in the south and is very detailed with regard to the coastal regions. The many rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, cities and towns that run along the coasts are carefully depicted, creating a product that is as information rich as it is appealing. De Fer’s commitment to detail extends to the decorative cartouche in the upper right hand corner, which notes major cities and provides their longitude and latitude.
The interior region of South America is a different story. The heart of the continent, which is home to the formidable Amazon Jungle, remained largely unknown to early 18th century explorers. Consequently, De Fer’s treatment of the interior becomes speculative and he commits some errors. For instance, the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, while rendered in lovingly detailed fashion, are mistakenly presented as connected.
In addition, De Fer also includes the mythical Lake of Xayares just to north of the Paraguay River, which is a remarkable curiosity. The myth came from early Portuguese and Spanish explorers who sailed up the Paraguay River to its northern terminus in the modern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. There, they encountered the Pantanal floodplain at the height of the rainy season and misinterpreted the floodplain as a lake, which they named after the indigenous Xarayes people. The Lake of Xayares assumed legendary status, with some believing it to be the gateway to the city of El Dorado.
Condition: This map is in A condition with a number of small edge tears confined to the margins.
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