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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rare Map of the Day: "Generaele Karte van West Indien" Arent Roggeveen (d. 1679) and Jacob Robijn (d. c. 1710)

A Stunning map of the West Indies by Arent Roggeveen and Jacob Robijn

Arent Roggeveen (d. 1679) and Jacob Robijn (d. c. 1710)
"Generaele Karte van West Indien"
From the Het Brandende Veen
Copperplate engraving with hand-color
Amsterdam: Pieter Goos Ca. 1680
Paper size approximately: 16 7/8" x 20 ½"

Arent Roggeveen is a man to whom students of cartography owe a great debt. The Het Brandende Veen provides a unique insight into the archives of one of the most influential companies in the early history of America. Through his work much of the invaluable charting of the Dutch West India Company has been saved. It is the first maritime atlas devoted to the Americas. Born in Delfshaven, he went to Middleburg in 1658, an important centre of shipping and commerce. A notable mathematician, his skills extended to surveying and navigation. He wrote a treatise on the appearance of a comet in 1664-65, and even turned his hand to poetry. He became a tutor of navigation to the pilots of both the Dutch West and East India Companies.

With his connections at the Dutch West India Company, Roggeveen had access to all the manuscript charts at their disposal. It must not be presumed that the company's observations were all their own. Indeed, many were undoubtedly Spanish in origin. In the book Roggeveen tells us that over twenty years he formed a large collection of manuscript charts. Either way much of the knowledge they contained would not have survived to today without Roggeveen's Het Brandende Veen. The word Veen as well as being part of the author's title name means 'fen' in English. The English translation "The Burning Fen," refers to the practice of burning peat along the coastline to act as a beacon for passing ships.

This fascinating sea chart depicts the area of the most intense European interest at the time: the northern coast of South America, the West Indies, and the east coast of North America up to present day New England. Highly detailed and exquisititely colored, this rare map is rarely on the open market. It provides a fascinating view of Dutch knowledge of these important waters. A beautiful and important map.
Offered at $28,000
Arader Galleries intends to have the lowest prices on ABE, Alibris, Biblio, AE, and Artnet while maintaining the highest levels of quality in the business for every offering. To inquire or view the complete offering, please contact our curators at info@aradernyc.com or call our 72nd Street NYC gallery at (212) 628-3668.

Please do not hesitate to direct all comments, questions, and inquiries to grahamarader@gmail.com

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