Antique Maps, Charts, Plans, Atlases, Globes and Reference Books

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Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio

Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio : G. Mercator

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Renowned map of the North Pole, by the great cartographer Gerard Mercator, depicting the Pole made up of four islands, with the waters of the world being sucked into their centre. The central map is surrounded by an unusual foliate design with roundels at each corner, the title at lower right and insets of the fictional island of Frisland, the Shetlands and Faeroe Islands in each other. This is the second state of this important map - identified by the re-engraved, and now undefined coastline of the polar "island" nearest Scandinavia. With partial coastlines depicted for Nova Zembla and other arctic islands this is a map of conjecture and speculation - it is easy to see why European powers and adventurers put so much effort into finding a route to the Indies via an anticipated Arctic waterway. Few names appear on the American mainland but California, identified as a Spanish territory is located within the Arctic Circle. Centrefold reinforced and with light original colour, nevertheless a very attractive example of the first map to focus on the North Pole.
mapmaker: G. Mercator  
place and date of publication: Amsterdam 1595-1630
medium and colour: copperplate, Coloured
size in mm: 365 by 390mm (14.25 by 15.25 inches).
ref: 41282
literature: P. Burden Mapping of North America, map 88.

Price: £ 1850

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