Amsterdam: Jansson, J., 1649.
Map. Hand colored engraving. Image measures 16" x 20.5".
This impressive map of the North Pole and the Arctic by Jan Jansson was issued in 1649. It covers the North Polar Regions including the northern coastlines of Asia, Europe, Greenland and North America. Inlcudes Nova Zembla, Spitsbergen and Iceland. Based on an earlier 1636 map by Hondius, this map, with some updates, became the prototype for many later maps including those of Blaeu and Pitt. The western coast of North America, relatively unknown at the time, is conveniently hidden behind the elaborate title cartouche.
The striking feature of this map are the rhumb lines that radiate from the North Pole. Rather than the straight lines commonly seen, this map presents curved rhumb lines to reflect a straight line path, given the curvature of the Earth. Several compass roses are included and ships are seen sailing in the waters. The tile cartouche features two men and several wind cherubs. Another cartouche in the lower right features two northern hunters, two foxes and a bear.
There are five known states of this map, this being the second state identified by the legend added below the title cartouche. In good condition with minor wear and some foxing near the original centerfold. Minor verso repairs top and bottom margins of centerfold. Deluxe margins added to fit into an atlas.
Jan Jansson was part of an influential family of map publishers from the Netherlands throughout the 17th century and beyond. They were based in Arnhem then in Amsterdam. They were printers, publishers and booksellers. Major publications were under the joint ownership of the Jansson heirs and their printing empire. This is a beautiful example of his work.