By: Jan Huygen van Linschoten
Date: 1596 (Published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 15 x 21 inches (38 cm x 53.5 cm)
This attractive map was derived from earlier Portuguese portolan charts of the 16th century. Not only does the lavish style with the inclusion of sea monsters, sailing ships, terrestrial animals, and an intricately detailed compass rose resemble that of such charts, but the geographical information obtained undoubtedly came from early Portuguese sources. The map depicts several areas with incredible accuracy for its era. One such area worth noting is the shape of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula which far more closely resembles the shape and size of modern maps than other examples from the same time period.
While working as a personal secretary to the Portuguese Archbishop of Goa (1583–1589), Linschoten obtained numerous maps and documents from various Portuguese sources. In 1589, while traveling back to Portugal from Goa, Linschoten’s ship was pursued by an English fleet and lost its cargo during a storm while anchored off the Azores. Linschoten spent two years in Terceira (Tercera) after being persuaded to help recover the cargo and prepare notes from his time in Goa. A few years after his return home to the Netherlands, he published his maps in Itinerario, which would aid the Dutch and the English in discovering trade routes to Asia. The discovery of these routes would ultimately break the century-long trade monopoly controlled by the Portuguese. Linschoten’s experiences and the publication of maps that followed would ultimately become one of the most important travel works of the era.
Condition: Facsimile restoration along the top margin; expertly mounted; small paper pull in the lower left corner. Map displays an excellent dark impression.
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