By: Willem Janszoon Blaeu
Date: 1635 (published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 16 x 22 inches (40.5 x 56 cm)
This is a fine old color example of Blaeu's decorative map of Asia.
The map presents many geographical and decorative aspects of this map worth noting. In the north the long-believed existence of the Northeast Passage is revealed as the land mass Nova Zembla is mapped with no east coast and a clear passage is shown to exist to the Anian Straight that opens to the Pacific.
Korea is featured as an island just west of the abnormally shaped Japan. Much of the north and west coasts of the Spice Islands are mapped in detail while many of the south and eastern coasts are blank. This shows the extent of Dutch cartographic knowledge and their areas of occupation during the mid-17th century spice trade.
Several indigenous animals are scattered throughout the map including an elephant just north of a large lake that was believed to be the source of the Ganges, when in actuality it was the Himalayas that had yet to be seen by European eyes. A Bactrian camel and its master can be seen just west of the Great Wall of China and a lion is depicted on the prowl in northern Africa.
The map is ornamented with 9 views of various cities within the continent and flanked by 10 vignettes showing pairs of indigenous people dressed in their traditional garb. The oceans are accented with 5 sailing ships a sea monster in the Pacific and a merman blowing a conch shell in the Indian Ocean. French text on verso.
Condition: This map is in B condition with upper and lower centerfold separations that have been repaired on the verso, foxing. Paper toning are mostly confined to the margins and the bottom center portion of the map.
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