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A Finely Colored Example Of an Important Map of the Polar Regions

Arctic/ Northeast Passage. DE BRY, T./ BARENTSZ, W. [ Frankfurt, 1601]
Deliniatio cartae trium navigationum per Batovos…. 11 x 14 inches
Fine hand color with gold highlighting; reinforced centerfold wear, close margins as usual, else excellent condition.


A beautiful example of the reduced version of Barentsz’ very rare Arctic map, described by Ginsberg as “perhaps the most important map of the far northern regions.” The map presents the geographic information gleaned from Barentsz’ three voyages beginning in 1594 in search of a northeast passage to the Orient. Only the track of the third voyage, from which Barentsz did not return, is shown on the map. De Bry’s edition faithfully replicates the cartography of the original as well as its visual panache with its many fine illustrations of ships, sea monsters and compass roses. Though Barentsz failed in his effort to find the passage, he did reach the east coast of Novaya Zemlya and also discovered of Spitsbergen, which he added to the map for the first time.

Ginsberg, W. B. Septentrionalius Regionum 30, cf. 29.

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