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Old antique map of Canada - Maritime Provinces by J. de Laet

Item number:25386
Category:Antique maps > america > north america
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Price: 1500 Euro ($1620 / £1260)
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Nova Francia et Regiones Adiacentes. - J. de Laet, 1630


Old map of Canada - Maritime Provinces by J. de Laet.

Cartographer: Hessel Gerritsz

Date of the first edition: 1630
Date of this map: 1630

Copper engraving
Size (not including margins): 28 x 36cm (10.9 x 14 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Burden 230; Kershaw, 88.

From: Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien. Leiden, 1630.

Considerable effort went into making the text and maps of this work the most accurate available at the time. It is arguably the finest description of the Americas published in the seventeenth century. The exhaustive research involved de Laet reading all of the published and manuscript material that he could find. For the cartographic work he had much to call on, being a director of the recently formed Dutch West India Company in charge of all Dutch interests in America and Africa. He therefore had access to the latest geographic knowledge. He also drew upon the fine talents of Hessel Gerritsz, the official cartographer to the Dutch East India Company since 1617. This was a post he attained before Willem Blaeu under whom he was apprenticed, and who was his senior by ten years.
The maps were some of the first to depart from the heavier style of the Mercator and Ortelius period. This more open style of engraving was one that both Blaeu and Janssonius would develop in their atlases. The first edition of the book in 1625 contained ten maps which concentrated on South America. Since then the Dutch had taken considerable interest in New Amsterdam (New York), and the work was expanded by some 100 pages and four newly engraved maps.

This map is one of the foundation maps of Canada. De Laet's reputation was enough to see the map being followed by Blaeu in 1662, and Coronelli as late as the 1690s. It is the first map to include an accurate Prince Edward Island, and the earliest depiction of a north-south orientated Lake Champlain.
Drawn in many ways from Champlain's smaller map of 1612, the author and probably engraver is thought to be Hessel Gerritsz, who had been the official cartographer to the Dutch East India Company since 1617, and held a similar position for the West India Company. However, O'Dea called this into question, referring to the signed chart by Gerritsz of 1630 with a differing delineation of Newfoundland. It could however, just as easily be that the chart was produced after the map was prepared. Newfoundland shows distinct signs of Portuguese cartography over that of the French, or even the English, whose map by Mason, 1625, was one of the most accurate at the time. ... (Burden)

Kershaw: "This map is of considerable importance to the early cartography of Canada and is the source map of several derivatives."

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