Amsterdam: Cornelius Claesz (Cornille Nicolas), 1609.
Map. Uncolored. Sheet measures 12.75" x 9.25"
This lovely map of the northern coast of what is today the Murmansk Oblast of the Russia Federation dates to 1609. Covers from Kegor on Russian Lapland to Confort on the Kola Peninsula. Includes Kildin Island. The map shows the topography with some ships in the waters, making thier way through the Barents Sea, signifying the route taken by Willem Barentz, after whom the sea was named. Also notes towns, forts and islands. Two compass roses are included and rhumb lines are noted. Two beautiful sets of illustrations depict natives the crew encountered. The text above the map describes these encounters. Some stains to margins with two worm holes.
The French text describes part of the third journey during 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