By: Gerard Mercator
Date: 1628 (Published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 14.5 x 15.5 inches (36.8 cm x 39.5 cm)
This is an authentic, antique map of the Northern Pole by Gerard Mercator. The map was published out of Amsterdam in 1628 as part of Atlas sive Cosmographicae.
This landmark map was the first separately printed map to focus on the Arctic. The North Pole is depicted according to legend as a massive rock, surrounded by circulating waters, feeding four rivers that separate four large islands. Interestingly, magnetic north is noted with a separate island between Asia and North America, just north of the Strait of Anian.
In North America, there is a very early reference to California (California regio, sola fama Hispanis nota), curiously shown north of the El streto de Anian. The map depicts the attempts of Frobisher and Davis to locate the northern passages to Asia. In the North Atlantic, Greenland is given an interesting shape, Iceland closely resembles Ortelius’s depiction, which was derived from indigenous sources, and the mythical island of Frisland is shown with several named towns.
This is the second state of the plate with updates in the region north of Russia including undefined coastlines to one of the islands surrounding the pole and Novaya Zemlya. The map is surrounded by a floral design with four roundels in each corner. These contain the title, the Faeroe Isles, the Shetland Isles, and the mythical island of Frisland.
Condition: This map is in B condition with a nice impression with attractive color and very wide margins. There are expert repairs to several centerfold separations, one tiny hole at bottom left, a tear adjacent to the centerfold that extends from the bottom of the map to the center, and a number of chips and tears in the blank margins.
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