By: Johannes Van Keulen
Date: 1682 (published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 20 x 22.75 inches (51 x 58 cm)
This superb Van Keulen sea chart features the coast of Brazil starting just north of the estuary of the São Francisco River, and continuing down the coast to the estuary of the Ponica River. Numerous estuaries are found along the coast, including that of the Vaza-Barris River, which is only 280 miles long but whose drainage basin is 5,600 square miles. At its mouth is the city of São Cristóvão. Founded in 1590, it is the fourth oldest European settlement in Brazil. The city is noted for its historic city square, São Francisco Square, and numerous early colonial-period buildings. Salvador, noted for its splendid beaches is also in this region of the country. The many estuaries depicted illustrate the relative ease with which early explorers could go inland from the Atlantic. Shoals along the coast are delineated.
Numerous settlements are depicted, as are fortresses and one silver mine called (at that time) Tapiana. The borders of the map are graduated for latitude, and bar scales are in Dutch miles, Spanish miles and English and French miles (actually leagues). An elaborate decorative title cartouche featuring indigenous peoples and wildlife, frigates at full sail, a lovely compass rose and a vignette featuring Poseidon and an allegorical figure based on Triton all embellish the map.
Condition: This hand coloured map on watermarked paper is in A condition. There is slight thinning in a few spots on the verso which aren’t visible on the recto.
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