Amsterdam: Jans Jansson, 1652.
Map. Engraving with original hand coloring. Image measures 16" x 20 3/4"
This intriguing map depicts the Straits of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago off the southernmost tip of South America that is separated from Patagonia by the straits. Discovered in 1520 by its namesake, the narrow strip of water attracted significant European attention as the fastest connection between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. South of the strait is Tierra del Fuego, the archipelago's main island. Labeled Magellanica on this map, and largely unexplored, it appears mostly blank save for some descriptive topographical drawings along the coastlines. In this second state of this map, vignettes of natives, penguins, and rheas fill the blank space. Water features are intricately labeled, perhaps because many sailors found themselves shipwrecked as they traveled the straits. At the right of the map is the Le Maire Strait and Staten Island. In addition to decorative cartouches, the map also features an elaborate coat of arms, with a dedication to Jans Jansson. In the lower left corner is a diagram of the region's latitude, and a legend at the top describes various points along the straits.
The map is in very good condition with some wear and toning at edges, and minor foxing at margins. Archival repair to closed tear at lower margin, not affecting the image. Folded as issued.
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 dark impression and a beautiful example of his work.