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Decorative Dutch map of Arabia

Place/Date: Amsterdam / ca. 1660
Sold
Title: Arabiae Felicis, Petrae ae et Desertae Nova et Accurata Delineatio
Dimensions
51 x 43.5 cm (20 x 17.25 in)
Identifier
NL-00045
Coloring
Hand color
Condition Rating
VG

Description

Uncommon map of the Arabian Peninsula published during a period of expanding European cartographic knowledge driven by increased trade with the Orient. The coastlines are fairly well represented and the interior contains details of the navigable rivers, with locations of inland towns, largely speculative.

Tibbetts concludes that this map is based on a Willem Blaeu map of Arabia that appeared in his atlas in 1662, but was likely made earlier. Blaeu added important new information, including the kingdoms of Zibit, Aden, Herit, and Faratach. But cartographic errors persist, most notably the depiction of Stag Lago, the fanciful lake depicted on maps since the 15th century, which has been moved towards the coast and become a bay with an outlet to the Indian Ocean.

The map is among the most decorative maps of Arabia available to collectors, with the interior filled with lions, camels and elephants and a sea monster guarding the Fretum Babelmandel. It is adorned with two cartouches featuring putti and depictions of the inhabitants of the region.

Verso Text: Blank

Cartographer(s)

Jan Janssonius

Johannes Janssonius (1588 – 1664; born Jan Janszoon, in English also Jan Jansson) was a Dutch cartographer and publisher who lived and worked in Amsterdam in the 17th century.

Janssonius was born in Arnhem, the son of Jan Janszoon the Elder, a publisher and bookseller. In 1612 he married Elisabeth de Hondt, the daughter of Jodocus Hondius. He produced his first maps in 1616 of France and Italy.

In the 1630s he formed a partnership with his brother in law Henricus Hondius, and together they published atlases as Mercator/Hondius/Janssonius. Under the leadership of Janssonius the Hondius Atlas was steadily enlarged.

After Janssonius’s death, the publishing company was continued by his son-in law, Johannes van Waesbergen. The London bookseller Moses Pitt attempted publication of the Atlas Major in English, but ran out of resources after the fourth volume in 1683.

Condition Description

A little toning and light offsetting; a few short marginal tears; very good.

References

Tibbetts, G. R. Arabia in Early Maps. Ney York, NY: Oleander Maps, 1978.

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