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Lot 0004
This landmark map in the history of cartography shows "new discoveries" in the North Pacific Ocean by explorers seeking among other objectives a north west passage and a north east passage, with a number of famous cartographic errors. The map shows the tracks of explorers Spandberg (who found a sea route to Japan), Tchirikow/Chirikov in the course of discovering the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, de Frondat's 1709 crossing from China to California, and the route of the Manila Galleons. Notably, the map shows a non-existent great inland sea, marked on this map as "Mer ou Baye de lOuest" (Sea or Bay of the West), occupying a vast part of the American/Canadian west and opening into the Pacific Ocean. It commonly appeared on maps between c1740-1790, reaching its fullest expression on this map. The opening into the Pacific, at around 48°N - the actual location of the Juan de Fuca strait - is marked on the map as the discovery of the Greek explorer Juan de Fuca in 1592. It is likely that the Sea of the West is in fact a gross misconception of the size and shape of the Strait of Georgia, the excessive size shown on the map based on de Fuca's report that he had spent 20 days sailing it and his failure to observe that the adjacent Vancouver Island was in fact an island. The map also includes an extensive interpretation of the "discoveries" made by the almost certainly fictitious Admiral Fonte along the Pacific North West Coast of North America to Alaska. A letter documenting his supposed voyage was probably invented, written and published by a London magazine editor, but the observations contained therein found strong support from proponents of a north west passage route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The map further shows the southern coastline of a supposed landmass east of Kamchatka discovered by Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Aleksie Chirikov during the Great Northern Expedition in 1741 - in fact the Aleutian islands. The map shows North America divided between Spain, Great Britain and France (the French possessions themselves are divided between Nouvelle France/New France to the north and Louisiane/Louisiana to the south)
DATE PRINTED: 1750 (This date is printed on the map)
IMAGE SIZE: Approx 50.0 x 67.5cm, 19.75 x 26.5 inches (Large); Please note that this is a folding map.
TYPE: Large antique 18th century atlas map, printed on thick, good quality paper with original outline hand colour/color, decorative title cartouche and vignettes of a native American and of a Kamchatkan native Koryak
CONDITION: Very Good; suitable for framing. Please check the scan for any blemishes prior to making your purchase. Virtually all antiquarian maps and prints are subject to some normal aging due to use and time which is not obtrusive unless otherwise stated.
VERSO: There is nothing printed on the reverse side, which is plain
FOLDING: This is a folding map.
PROVENANCE: The map was extracted from a composite atlas of early 18th century maps, the latest of which was dated c1754

Reserve: $3,110.00

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  • Location: This item ships from United Kingdom.

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  • Buyer's Premium

    • 15%

    Nouvelles decouvertes au nord de la Mer du Sud. North

    Estimate $3,500 - $4,000Dec 12, 2018
    Shipping & Payment
    $25 shipping to contiguous United StatesAsk for international & combined shipping rates
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    Ships from verified Jasper52 seller #26624 in United Kingdom
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    New York, NY, USA
    Auction Curated By:
    Steve Kovacs
    Maps Expert