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The Gallapagos Islands Discovered .... By Capt.Cowley in 1684

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The Gallapagos Islands Discovered .... By Capt.Cowley in 1684 : E. Bowen

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An attractive and fascinating map of the Galapagos group with text below describing the origin of the islands' name - from the Spanish for tortoise. The title attributes the islands' discovery to a Capt. Cowley and the text gives further details about the area, however, the group was well known to the Spanish, having in fact been discovered by the Bishop of Panama, en route to Peru, in 1535. Colonization began in 1832 when Ecuador took official possession but the islands' chief claim to fame derives from Charles Darwin's studies, in 1835, of its unique wildlife. One of the earliest maps of the Galapagos Islands, this is an attractive plate from Harris's collection of voyage reports chiefly comprising maps engraved by prolific London engraver Emanuel Bowen. This engraving is unsigned but was based on the charts created in 1684 by the buccaneer, Ambrose Cowley. The accounts of Cowley's adventures included a version of this map which was smaller and lacked the decoration present here. As such, this is the earliest map devoted of the island group, discovered by the Spanish but never previously mapped in any detail. Regarded of little significance, the islands were not re-plotted until the early nineteenth century by which time whatever was produced was functional rather than decorative.
mapmaker: E. Bowen  
place and date of publication: London 1744
medium and colour: copperplate, Coloured
size in mm: 320 by 195mm (12.5 by 7.75 inches).
ref: 43358

Price: £ 500£ 300

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