Amsterdam: Giovanni Battista Albrizzi, 1740. unbound. Map. Uncolored copper plate engraving. Image measures 11 x 12.75"
Rarely seen in black and white, this map of the North Pole and Northern Hemisphere demonstrates geographic knowledge as of the mid-18th century. The map shows the Northeast Passage, or northern sea route, discovered by William Barentsz in 1596, as well as the islands of Nova Zembla and Spitzbergen that he also discovered. However, the corresponding region in North America, and therefore a possible Northwest Passage, remains blank, reflecting both the lack of knowledge of this area and the continued hope that such a route might be found. The North Pole itself also remains empty, as it would not be explored for another century, and California is shown as an island. The areas that the map does describe, however, are nicely detailed, and in particular New Denmark, Greenland, the rivers of North America, and the Great Wall of China. A banner across the top of the page, running behind the map, bears its title. The map is a dark impression on bright paper and is in very good condition. No chips or tears. Minor wear to original fold and slight offsetting. Giovanni Battista Albrizzi (1698-1777) was a prominent Venetian publisher of books and maps. He inherited his business from his father and was part of a family active in publishing and bookselling in Venice for 150 years. In addition, he edited a weekly bulletin, Novelle della Repubblica delle Lettere, which reviewed and commented on books published throughout Europe. This scarce map is from Atlante Novissimo Che Contiene tutte le parti del Mondo, an Italian edition of De Lisle's Atlas. Albrizzi worked with Isaac Tirion, a Dutch publisher, to update the maps for this edition.