Tabula Magellanica, qua Tierrae del Fuego, cum celeberrimis fretis.
1635 (undated) 17 x 21.5 in (43.18 x 54.61 cm)
1 : 2000000
This is a beautiful c.1635 map of the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego by Willem Blaeu. Centered on the Straits of Magellan, it covers the southern portions of Chile and Tierra del Fuego. The map beautifully renders the mountainous coastline, while the interior remains unmapped.
The Strait of Magellan was discovered in 1520 by the Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan, the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe. This natural channel linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans though a challenging route to navigate -given the unpredictable winds and currents-, is the fastest connection between the two oceans. To the east of Terra del Fuego, Blaeu notes Staten Island.
This map is highly decorative and includes illustrations of a fleet of ships, three compass roses, and rhumb lines throughout. A decorative cartouche in the top right quadrant includes the coat of arms and a dedication to Constantine Hugenio. Issued by Willem Blaeu in c.1635, this is one of the most beautiful maps of the region.
The Amsterdam based Blaeu clan represents the single most important family in the history of cartography. The firm was founded in 1596 by Willem Janzoon Blaeu (1571-1638). It was in this initial period, from 1596 to 1672, under the leadership of the Willem Blaeu and with this assistance of his two talented sons Cornelius (1616-1648) and Johannis (1596-1673), that the firm was most active. Their greatest cartographic achievement was the publication of the magnificent multi-volume Atlas Major. To this day, the Atlas Major represents one of the finest moments in cartography. The vast scope, staggering attention to detail, historical importance, and unparalleled beauty of this great work redefined the field of cartography in ways that have endured well into to the modern era. The cartographic works of the Blaeu firm are the crowning glory of the Dutch Golden Age of Cartography. The firm shut down in 1672 when their offices were destroyed during the Great Amsterdam Fire. The fire also destroyed all of Blaeu's original printing plates and records, an incomparable loss to the history of cartography.
Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Overall age toning. Minor spotting.