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Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula: Jansson 1626

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  • Title: Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula
  • Author: Jan Jansson
  • Date: 1626
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Nicely colored example, very dark impression, neat and crisp. Old repairs along centerfold at bottom with no loss, otherwise map is untouched.  Added facsimile to borders at right and left corners, more pronounced on left. Trimmed to and within neatline, margins added. Slightly age toned and backed to card stock.
  • Inches: 22 5/8 x 19 [Paper]
  • Centimeters: 57.47 x 48.26 [Paper]
  • Product ID: 318026

One of the most dramatic folio world maps from the Dutch "Cartes-À-Figures" period; potentially the only known example available to a collector.

*$50,000, including client's choice of The Antiquarium’s finest custom framing.

Johanne (Jan) Jansson’s classic 1626 separately-published single world map, a supreme, and supremely rare, example of the mapmaker’s art. Marks the trans-Pacific route of Le Maire’s expedition, revising the land just below the southern tip of South America. The north-eastern parts of America also reflect recent discoveries. There is an unusual rendering of north-eastern Asia with Nova Zemlya shown as a long east-west peninsula and the coastline then running true south for almost 1,000 miles. Principal cities, both real and imagined, are picked out in vermilion. TERRA AUSTRALIS NONDUM COGNITA lies below the Antarctic circle, while MAGALLANICA lies above, with an extensive apocryphal coastline. Both were inspired by the van den Keere world map of 1608. As in Blaeu’s map, Nova Guinea is tentatively attached to Magallanica as the latter rises to the northwest to meet the island. 

The top border shows eight energetic caparisoned sovereigns on horseback in arched openings with elaborate columns. The title runs below the mounted horsemen, and Janssonius’ imprint is set within a small mannerist cartouche floating in the Arctic. Along the bottom border ten pairs of contemporarily garbed world citizens are shown in simple arched openings. The two side borders each present nine town views in oval frames.

A splendid large cartouche with an extensive legend of discovery portrays nine geographers and circumnavigators: Ptolemy, Columbus, Vespucci, Magellan, Drake, Cavendish, van Noort, van Spilbergen, and Le Maire. Two inset Biblical scenes showing the Temptation and the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The town views as well as the costumed figures found inspiration in Claes Jansz Visscher's 1614 world map. The oceans are crisscrossed with rhumb lines, sea-monsters and sailing ships compete for nautical advantage, and compass roses decorate the Atlantic and Pacific. 

A rare landmark for its day and today and a truly worldly map for a worldly audience. This map first appeared in 1622 under the imprint of Pieter van den Keere. Following the death of his first wife, van den Keere was forced to sell many map plates. The plates for this map passed to Dirck Evertsen Lons, who reprinted it in the same year while in the employ of Johannes Janssonius. Janssonius then printed it in 1626 with his imprint (as here) and again in 1632.

Separately-published maps of this kind have a very high mortality rate, unless an early owner incorporated them into a volume, and it is through being bound that many such maps survive today. Unfortunately, this map was created in an oversized folio format, too large to fit conveniently into contemporary atlases, hence its rarity today.  This also explains the reason this example has been folded down to atlas folio format, with separation (and resultant loss) to the vulnerable folds (particularly affecting the equestrian figures along the upper border). We must forgive the early owner’s negligence leading to the ancient damage; without this, the map would surely have been lost to history.

We find six copies held institutionally. The usual sources do not indicate any copies coming to market previously.

Johannes (Jan) Janssonius II (1588-1664) was an active publisher and a worthy rival to the house of Blaeu in the Dutch Golden Age of cartography. Born in Arnhem where his father was a bookseller, his collaboration with Jodocus Hondius the Elder on the publication of Mercator’s Atlas Minor in 1607 served as his introduction to cartography. Jansson married Elisabeth Hondius, Jodocus the Elder’s daughter, and shortly thereafter settled in Amsterdam. He published not only atlases and books, but also individual maps. His bookselling business was had several international branches, and because of his connection to Hondius through marriage, he competed primarily with Blaeu. Among other things, Jansson copied the latter’s Licht der Zeevaart in 1620, which presumably was one of the reasons for Willem Janzs. to start using the family name Blaeu (1621). Janssonius was also well known for his globes, creating some of the finest examples at the height of Dutch globemaking power and relevance.