By: Jan Jansson
Date: 1641 (Published) Amsterdam
Original Size: 18.25 x 21.5 inches (56.5 cm x 46.4 cm)
This is a Vintage Map Shop reproduction of an original map of North America showing California as an island. The map was published by Jan Jansson out of Amsterdam circa 1641.
Due to its wide distribution by one of the preeminent Dutch mapmakers, this important map of North America had great influence in perpetuating the theory of California as an island. The map is a careful compilation of various sources and represents the state of cartographic knowledge at the time. The insular California is derived directly from Henry Briggs, as is the depiction of the Arctic. A great number of place names are revealed on California, including po. de S. Diego (San Diego) and Po. Sir Francisco Draco (San Francisco).
The Rio del Norto (Rio Grande) originates in a large western lake and flows incorrectly into the Mare Vermio (Gulf of California). The cartography of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida is based on Hessel Gerritsz. On the east coast the region identified as Novum Belgium is greatly elongated; Iames Towne and a few place names from John Smith's map appear in Nova Anglia. There is a single Lac des Iroquois in the Great Lakes region.
The map is richly embellished with a variety of animals throughout the interior. The oceans are teeming with ships and sea monsters. The title cartouche features several Native Americans and two comely mermaids flank the imprint cartouche.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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