1636 America Septentrionalis

Size Guide
Size : Includes 1 - 3 Inch Margins


By: Jan Jansson

Date: 1636 (Published) Amsterdam

Original Size: 22 x 18.5 inches (55.9 x 47 cm)

This is a reproduction of the rare, first-state example of Jan Jansson’s map of North America, which was published in Amsterdam in 1636. This map occupies an important place in the history of map making because it spread the misconception that California was an island.

With this map, Jansson provides an illustration of North America that is simply arresting to the modern viewer. He spares little detail in his description of California, and shows many of the important places discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, including Catalina Island, the Bay of San Francisco (Po Sir Francifco Draco), and the Bay of San Diego (Po ds Diego). But most notably he draws California as an island, separated from the American mainland by the mythical “Mare Vermio” and a string of unnamed islands.

Jansson was not the first to advance the theory that California was an island, the Spanish explorer Antonio de la Ascension did so in a 1602 journal entry, but his map popularized it, and many subsequent maps featured the “Insula California” as a result. The practice became so widespread that in 1747, King Ferdinand VI of Spain was compelled to issue a royal edict declaring that California was part of mainland North America.

Jansson’s depiction of California may be the map’s most remarkable feature, but there are other elements worth investigating. In the Southwest, the Rio Grande (Rio del Norto) has a fictitious lake as its source and is incorrectly shown flowing into the Sea of Cortez. In the Northeast, the region labled Novum Belgium is disproportionately elongated. The map is also richly decorated, and many drawings of animals dot the North American landscape, while the ocean is replete with illustrations of sailing ships and sea monsters.

Inventory #19495


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About Our Reproductions
About Our Reproductions
- The product listed is a high resolution, printed reproduction of the original map. 
- The prints are of giclée quality. They are made using a twelve ink, color printer on  acid-free, archival paper. Colors are guaranteed to last without fading for over 100 years. 
Sizing Information
- The available size options are aimed to fit standard size frames. This will not apply for all maps and sizing options.
- The dimensions give are approximate and may vary by up to .5 inches.
- All of our maps will include an extra margin of 1 - 2 inches for matting purposes.
- We do not alter the ratio of H x W dimensions of the map as that would diminish the integrity of our reproduction's resemblance of the original work
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- Our paper is referred to as a Premium Archival Matte (230 gsm). This heavyweight paper is smooth to the touch, neutral-white, acid-free for a longer print life and features an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.