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“The definitive 17th century map of the Canadian Arctic” (Kershaw)
HONDIUS, H./ JANSSON, J. [Amsterdam, 1636/ 1644]
Poli Arctici et Circumiacentium Terrarum Descriptio Novissima Sumptibus Henrici Hondii. .
16 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches.
Fine original color refreshed; mended tear left of centerfold with very slight loss, overall very good.
Beautifully engraved map of the Arctic, bordered with whaling scenes illustrating the whaling industry developing in the North Atlantic. Between this map and Mercator’s Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio lay years of European efforts to find a Northwest Passage, as well as increased Dutch whaling activity in the Arctic. As a result, the North Polar Region as shown here has here been purged of the imaginary islands found on the earlier Mercator map of the area. Hondius drew heavily on English sources, notably using both Briggs’ mapping of Hudson Bay and that of Thomas James. Place names resulting from Baffin’s search for a Northwest Passage appear as well, including “Sir James Lancaster’s Sound” which would, centuries later, prove to be the opening of the true Northwest Passage. Many Dutch place names appear for the first time along the Labrador coast, a result of the Netherlands’ increased whaling activity alluded to in the map’s border vignettes.
Kershaw, I, Entry 100; Burden 246, state 3.