1820 Franz Pluth Map of South America

Charte von Süd - America Nach den neuesten und besten Hülfomitteln entworfen. - Main View

1820 Franz Pluth Map of South America


A beautifully engraved and highly detailed map of South America.


Charte von Süd - America Nach den neuesten und besten Hülfomitteln entworfen.
  1820 (dated)     15.5 x 11.75 in (39.37 x 29.845 cm)     1 : 24600000


This is an 1820 Franz Pluth map of South America. The map depicts the region from Central America and the West Indies to Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn and from the Pacific Ocean and the Galapagos Islands to the Atlantic Ocean. Highly detailed, innumerable locations are labeled throughout, including islands, countries, cities, towns, rivers, and lakes. Nearly all of the Caribbean islands are labeled, among them are Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Cozumel, off the Yucatan Peninsula, is also noted, along with Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama in Central America. In South America, cities and towns are evident from Cartagena to Patagonia, including Quito, Caracas, Cayenne, Paramaribo, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Cuzco, La Paz, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo. The Amazon River and its basin dominate the northern portion of the map, with the Paraguay River and the Rio de la Plata acting as the focal point in the southern half of the continent.

Laguna de Xarayes

Also included on this map is a representation of the apocryphal Lake of Xarayes at the northern terminus of the Paraguay River. 'Xarayes' is a corruption of 'Xaraies' meaning 'Masters of the River.' The Xaraies were an indigenous people occupying what are today parts of Brazil's Matte Grosso and the Pantanal. When Spanish and Portuguese explorers first navigated up the Paraguay River, as always in search of El Dorado, they encountered the vast Pantanal flood plain at the height of its annual inundation. Understandably misinterpreting the flood plain as a gigantic inland sea, they named it after the local inhabitants, the Xaraies. The Laguna de los Xarayes almost immediately began to appear on early maps of the region and, at the same time, almost immediately took on a legendary aspect as the gateway to El Dorado.

This map was created and engraved by Franz Pluth in 1820.


Franz Pluth (1800 - 1871) was an engraver based in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire. Pluth was born in Prague and most likely died in Zbraslav. He was active as a map engraver until at least 1848. His work is similar in style to that of Karl Ferdinand Weiland, a prolific German engraver, with whom he may have worked. Learn More...


Linder, F. L., Neueste Länder - und Völkerkunde, ein geographisches Lesebuch für alle Stände. , (Prague) 1820. Linder's book is typically dated 1820, but contains maps dated between 1816 and 1825.    


Very good. Light wear along original fold lines. Blank on verso.


OCLC 868154129.