Amsterdam: Cornelius Claesz (Cornille Nicolas), 1609.
Map. Uncolored. Sheet measures 12.75" x 9.25"
This rare map of Kildin Island and the Kola Peninsula, part of today's Murmansk Oblast of the Russian Federation, dates to 1609. The map covers the Island of Kildin as well as part of the Murmansk Fjord or Kola Bay. It beautifully rendered topography as well as soundings off the coast of Kildin. Towns are noted on the Kola Peninsula. Illustrations of men carrying boats, ships in the bay, as well as natives are included. These images refer to the explorations of Willem Barentz and his voyages during the Arctic explorations.
Text above the image describes part of the journey during the third voyage. It also makes reference to Jan Comeliszoon Rijp, the Dutch mariner who accompanied Barentz in his expedition to find the Northeast Passage. Upon discovering Spitsbergen, the ships ran into ice, hindering their progress. Barentz decided to continue around northern tip of Nova Zemblya, while Rijp returned to head back to the Netherlands, insisting that the northern tip of Nova Zembla was too dangerous. Barentz eventually did get trapped in the ice. He would eventually die at sea enroute to the Kola Peninsula aboard one of the two boats the crew used to excape. His crew would be later rescued by Rijp.
The map is in good condition with some staining on the sheet near the bottom right. Some edge wear and overall toning.
The French text describes part of the Arctic explorations of Willem Barentzs (c. 1550--1597), a Dutch navigator and cartographer. Conducted between 1594 and 1596, Barentzs' three voyages into the seas north of Siberia are widely considered the most notable of many European efforts in this period to find a northern sea passage to China and India.
Gerrit de Veer (c. 1570-1598), second mate to Barentzs, kept a journal where he describes the journeys in meticulous detail, including the discoveries of Spitzbergen, Bear Island, and Novaya Zemlya during the successful third voyage, which Barentzs piloted under the command of Jacob van Heemskerk. Perhaps the third voyage's most famous incident was when after the ship became entrapped in ice, de Veer, who was also the ship's carpenter, directed the dismantling of the ship and the subsequent construction of a cabin from its lumber in which the crew spent the winter.
Although Barentzs did not survive the trip back, de Veer and some of the other crew members journeyed home on open boats and were eventually rescued by Dutch ships. De Veer's journal was originally published in 1598 in Latin by Cornelius Claesz, one of the most significant Amsterdam publishers of the end of the sixteenth century.
A prominent publisher of early Dutch travel accounts, Claesz adopted de Veer's heroic tale and commissioned Baptista van Doetichum to produce engravings to accompany the text. Many of these incredible images depicted walruses--referred to as "big cows"--sea monsters, and polar bears for the first time, as well as beautiful scenes of icebergs and crew activity.
Condition: Very Good