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[Fine sea chart of the Pacific, with California as an Island]

image of Magnum Mare del Zur cum Insula California.

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DE WIT, Frederick.
Magnum Mare del Zur cum Insula California. Amsterdam: Louis Renard, 1715. Original colour. 500 x 550mm.
A sea chart of the Pacific, filled with some of the most famous cartographic misconceptions. California is an island; the northern coastline of Australia is shown, joined by the Cape York Peninsula to New Guinea; Tasmania is a long way away from any other coastline; the partial coastline of New Zealand is marked; and to the north of Japan are both 'Ezo' and 'Compagnies lant', semi-mythical islands. A highly decorative title cartouche fills the bottom right corner, depicting Neptune in a chariot and a medallion portrait of Magellan. First published in the 'Orbis Maritimus ofte Zee Atlas' in 1675, this example comes from Renard's 'Atlas de la Navigation'. Instead of being just a re-issue of obsolete plates, Renard updated the charts with new information: here the shape of Tasmania has been altered, with the names changed. Koeman concludes 'that the atlas was intended for use at sea and not only for the consultation on shore'. McLAUGHLIN: 188; KOEMAN: Ren 1.
[Ref: 17947]