17th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Maps, New Additions

New Additions: John Overton’s “New and Most Exact Map of America”

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe received several antique maps at the Old Print Gallery yesterday, all of which make great additions to our inventory. Included in this group of new (to us) maps was a rare, separately published, English-produced map of the Americas by John Overton.

John Overton (1640-1713) worked first as an apprentice to Thomas Gould in the “Stationers’ Company” for eight years, before buying a print shop from Peter Stent in London. His shop, as noted on all his published material, was located at the sign for “White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate“. Overton inherited and quickly accumulated a considerable print stock, but found his inventory of maps lacking. He worked to fill this void by re-publishing maps of influential cartographers of the previous generation, notably acquiring the set of Speed plates from Christopher Browne in 1713.

A New and Most Exact Map of America. Described by N. I. Visscher and Don [sic] into English Enlarged and Corrected According to I. Bleau [sic] and Others. By John Overton.  Printed Colloured and Sould by John Overton at ye White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate. Copper plate engraving, 1668 (c.1671). Image size 16 5/8 x 21 1/8" (421 x 535 mm) plus margins. Good condition save for tight lower margin. Modern hand coloring. LINK.

A New and Most Exact Map of America. Described by N. I. Visscher and Don [sic] into English Enlarged and Corrected According to I. Bleau [sic] and Others. By John Overton. Printed Colloured and Sould by John Overton at ye White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate. Copper plate engraving, 1668 (c.1671). Image size 16 5/8 x 21 1/8″ (421 x 535 mm) plus margins. LINK.

Overton primarily derived this map of America  from his chief English rivals, Robert Walton, Thomas Jenner and as noted in the title, Nicolaes Visscher. He used Walton’s (Burden #330) map for the decorative borders and large inset map of the polar regions, Jenner’s (Burden #393) for the cartography, and van den Keere’s for the border illustrations, which depict natives, explorers, and city views. This is the second state of the map, issued c.1671. It is in good condition, save for tight lower margin. The hand coloring is modern.

The map, a copper plate engraving, has many interesting details. It depicts California as an island, with the following explanation: “This California was in times past thought to beene a part of thy Continent and so made in all maps but by further discoveries was found to be an Iland, long 1700 legues” . Hudson’s Bay is noted as being very shallow: “In this Hudsons Bay hath been observed by divers that at highwater did not arise about 2 foot.” Although New Jersey is listed, New York is curiously omitted from East Coast place names, despite being under British rule.  The map is also beautifully decorated with ships and sea monsters in the water and grazing, leaping animals in the Midwest. An inset map of the polar circle- including the Strait of Anian– sits in the lower left corner of the map.

This is a fantastic new map to be added to our OPG collection. We invite our blog readers to stop by our Georgetown gallery to see it in person.

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16th Century Maps, 17th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Foreign Maps, Maps, World Maps

Sea Monsters

New map collectors often ask us what to collect and how to decide which maps to seek out and invest in. There are many answers to this, and we regularly help collectors find maps made by a particular cartographer, maps showing a state or region of interest, or maps from particular time period. Maps offer rich representations of some of the most important historical, political, and scientific developments and discoveries to happen to our world. But maps can also be fanciful, ornate depictions of things unknown, whimsical, or mythological. And it can be not only fun, but truly fascinating, finding maps that show creatures and beasts so far beyond our imagination, swimming and roaming lands so intricately and scientifically charted. So today’s blog post will be a roundup of sea monsters found on  maps we currently have in the OPG shop.

Sea monsters were used on old maps to indicate places where actual peril awaited sailors and to evoke the mythic, perilous nature of the sea. They served as a visual reminder of the danger of travelling to unknown lands, and the courage it took to set sail for uncharted waters. Many of these monsters show a faint resemblance to real ocean inhabitants- several share the scales or fins of fish or the sheer size and powerful blowholes of whales. But most seem to be true manifestations of the imagination: aquatic lions with whisker-like strands of hair, animals with bears paws and pig snouts, or sea dragons with long scaly tails. These maritime monsters were also joined by representations of the Roman god Neptune and Greek god Poseidon, or mermaids and mermen bare-chested and welding tridents.

We hope you enjoy these fearsome watery beasts!

From: Asiae XII Tab. (Ceylon.) by Gerard Mercator. Copper plate engraving, 1578. WEB LINK.

From: Asiae XII Tab. (Ceylon.) by Gerard Mercator. Copper plate engraving, 1578.
WEB LINK.

From: China. By Jodocus Hondius. Published by J. Hondius, Amsterdam. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1606, c.1628. WEB LINK.

From: China. By Jodocus Hondius. Published by J. Hondius, Amsterdam. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1606, c.1628. WEB LINK.

From: Africae nova descriptio. Willem J. Blaeu. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1630, c.1640. WEB LINK.

From: Africae nova descriptio. Willem J. Blaeu. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1630, c.1640. WEB LINK.

FROM: Asia noviter delineata. Willem J. Blaeu.  Published in Amsterdam. Copper plate engraving, 1617-30, c.1650. WEB LINK.

From: Asia noviter delineata. Willem J. Blaeu. Published in Amsterdam. Copper plate engraving, 1617-30, c.1650. WEB LINK.

From: America. Jodocus Hondius. Published by J. Hondius, Amsterdam. Copper engraving, French issue, 1630. WEB LINK.

From: America. Jodocus Hondius. Published by J. Hondius, Amsterdam. Copper engraving, French issue, 1630. WEB LINK.

From: Terra Sancta. Abraham Ortelius. Copper plate engraving, 1584. Shows Jonah falling off his ship into the jaws of the Whale. WEB LINK.

From: Terra Sancta. Abraham Ortelius. Copper plate engraving, 1584. Shows Jonah falling off his ship into the jaws of the “Whale”. WEB LINK.

From: Guiana siue Amazonum Regno. Joannis Blaeu. Published by Guiljelmum Blaeu, Amsterdam. Copper plate engraving, c.1642. WEB LINK.

From: Guiana siue Amazonum Regno. Joannis Blaeu. Published by Guiljelmum Blaeu, Amsterdam. Copper plate engraving, c.1642. WEB LINK.

From: Palestinae Sive Totius Terrae Promissionis Nova Descriptio Avctore Tilemanno Stella Sigenensi. Abraham Ortelius. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1573 German text edition. WEB LINK.

From: Palestinae Sive Totius Terrae Promissionis Nova Descriptio Avctore Tilemanno Stella Sigenensi. Abraham Ortelius. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1573 German text edition. WEB LINK.

From: Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni typus. By Abraham Ortelius. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1570. WEB LINK.

From: Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni typus. By Abraham Ortelius. Handcolored copper plate engraving, 1570. WEB LINK.

From: Mappa Aestivarum Insularum Alias Barmudas Dictarum... Willem J. Blaeu. Published by W. Blaeu, Amsterdam. Handcolored copper plate engraving, c.1633. The highly embellished cartouche features Neptune astride the royal coat of arms of England, trident in one hand and a galleon in the other. WEB LINK.

From: Mappa Aestivarum Insularum Alias Barmudas Dictarum… Willem J. Blaeu. Published by W. Blaeu, Amsterdam. Handcolored copper plate engraving, c.1633. The highly embellished cartouche features Neptune astride the royal coat of arms of England, trident in one hand and a galleon in the other. WEB LINK.

From: Africae Tabula Nova. Abraham Ortelius. Published by Abraham Ortelius, Antwerp. Copper plate engraving, c.1612. WEB LINK.

From: Africae Tabula Nova. Abraham Ortelius. Published by Abraham Ortelius, Antwerp. Copper plate engraving, c.1612. WEB LINK.

*And if you are interested in more watery beasts, I suggest reading the newly published Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps by Chet Van Duzer.

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