By: Johannes Van Keulen
Date: 1680 (Published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 20.25 x 23.25 inches (51.4 cm x 59 cm)
This strikingly beautiful sea chart of the northern coast of France, including most of the Normandie peninsula, shows detailed information for navigational purposes. Rhumb lines radiate from a large number of points, arrows indicate the direction in which the wind blows, water depths and anchorages are indicated along the coast, areas of shallows which extend into the English Channel, and underwater hazards are included. Place names and cities are noted.
The delta of the Vire River is shown in great detail, with the hazards it presents to navigation of it carefully delineated. The city at the far left of the map is the well-known Cherborg (Cherbourg) of cinematic fame. The Saire Valley, where de Tocqueville lived and wrote is named nearby. Cites and place names dot the coast line and islands are denoted. The city at the far right is Cour Seule, or modern-day Courseulles-sur-Mer.
Of especial interest to some may be the fact that the entire length of the area which came to be known as the Normandy Beaches, the landing sites which saw such horrific loss of life in WWII, is shown in full, including Omaha Beach. This sea chart shows some of the difficulties the Allies faced as they approached the coast to face Hitler’s forces.
The Van Keulen family was one of the most prolific of all Dutch map making families. The family began producing maps and sea charts in 1680 and in the 18th century their firm became well-known for its important maps, charts and books regarding all aspects geography, navigation, etc. One family member became the official Hydrographer to the East India Company, and until the opening of the Dutch Hydrographic Office, the firm produced what were considered the official Dutch sea charts. A large elaborate cartouche contains the title in French and Dutch, and the distance scales are in Dutch, Spanish and English.
Condition: This map with original hand coloring is in B+ condition with a faint stain in the body of the map, a slight darkening of the upper left corner and some fine lines in the border that appear to have happened during the printing process. Two creases protrude into the body of the map but detract little from the overall impression. Separations along the edge have been repaired with archival material on the verso.
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