Venice: Vincenzo Coronelli, 1695.
Map. Engraving with hand color. Sheet measures 18" x 24".
This is a gorgeous map of the Western Hemisphere by Vincenzo Coronelli. The map is cartographically based on Coronelli's large gores from 1688, which were themselves derived from the manuscript globes constructed for Louis XI in 1683.
In North America, French Louisiana takes up most of the region at the expense of British Colonies. The American West notes the Native American tribe of the Apaches. Although one of the most accurate depictions of the Great Lakes in the 17th century is shown here, the Mississippi empties into the Gulf of Mexico far west from its actual location. California appears as an island.
Insular California was first mentioned in the early 16th century. Although contrary evidence from various explorers was available by the 17th century that California was in fact a peninsula, cartographers remained divided on the subject and California continued to appear on maps as an island.
Further north the semi-mythical Stretto d'Anian appears. This Strait, which is today known as the Bering Strait first appeared in the journals of Marco Polo and went on to become associated with the mythical Northwest Passage. Terra di Jesso, the mythical land bridge believed to connect Asia with Alaska, appearing to the west with Giaponi further west.
In South America, the mythical lakes of Parima as well as Xarayes, both believed to be connected to El Dorado, make an appearance. In the Pacific, the discoveries of Abel Tasmen are shown with the early mapping of the coastlines of New Zealand and Van Diemen's Land. A notation near New Zealand incorrectly states that it was discovered by the Dutch in 1684. Speculative mapping of a large landmass to the south hints at a mythical Southern Continent.
Dedication to Senator Andrea Marcello appear in the top left with his coat of arms in the top right. The lower corners include explanations. A series of concentric rings surround the map noting distance, eclipse, climate zones, and astronomical information. The 12 zodiac signs are noted on the outer edges of the circle. This is the second state of the map, identified by the zodiacs appearing with illustrations. The map is in good condition with thick paper, some foxing and stains in the right margin but not affecting the image. The lower border is cropped to plate line.
Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718) was a Franciscan priest and renowned mathematician and cartographer. He was appointed official Cosmographer to the Venetian Republic in 1685 and founded the world's earliest geographic society, L'Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti. He was known best for his globes, which he made for prominent rulers such as Louis XIV and the Duke of Parma. This map is an excellent example of his work. Shirley 548