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1726 Valentijn Map of Persia and Afghanistan

[Persia]. - Main View

1726 Valentijn Map of Persia and Afghanistan




  1726 (undated)     12.5 x 15.5 in (31.75 x 39.37 cm)


This is a rare 1726 map of Persia by Francois Valentijn. It covers from the Gulf of Suez eastward to Ahmedabad (Amadabad) in modern day western India. This map, centered on Persia, includes the Caspian Sea and part of the Arabian Peninsula. The map is highly detailed, noting numerous rivers, towns, islands and mountains beautifully rendered. Undersea features are also displayed in detail.

The most interesting feature here is the mapping of the Caspian Sea. This map, based on the earlier 1634 Blaeu map of Persia, depicts the Caspian in a bulbous horizontal form based upon the cartography of Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy. It was only in 1718, when Russian Tzar Peter the Great sponsored the cartographic expedition of Dutch navigator Carl Van Verden who presented the accurate mapping of the Caspian Sea, offering a new perspective on the region and opening the navigational possibility of the world's largest lake.

This map was issued as part of Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien in 1726.


Francois Valentijn (April 17, 1666 - August 6, 1727) was a Dutch minister, naturalist, colonial administrator, and historian active in Holland and the East Indies, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Valentijn was born in Dordrecht, Holland and studied at the Universities and Leiden and Utrecht before, in 1685, taking a position with the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He remained in the East Indies for about 10 years before returning to Dordrecht. Unable to adjust to life in Europe, he returned to the East Indies in 1705 where he remained for another 9 years. After 19 total years in the Orient working for the VOC, Valentijn once again returned to Holland where he composed his eight volume five part masterwork Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien. The scope and detail of this work, including over 1000 engraved images and numerous maps was unprecedented with regards to Asia. The work contained some of the finest and most detailed large scale maps of the East Indies ever published. The most important of these focus on Taiwan and Malaya. Valentijn most likely drew on secret VOC manuscript maps and documents, a fact that makes it exceptionally surprising that his works were actually published. Valentijn academic scholarship, in sharp contrast to his cartographic work, is often highly criticized as being self-aggrandizing and, more often than not, plagiarized. Learn More...


Valentijn, F., Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien, (Dordrecht: J. van Braam) 1726.    


Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor wear along original fold lines. Minor spotting.


Alai, C., General Maps of Persia 1477-1925, E. 96.