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[MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van (1563–1611). Delineatio Orarum Maritimarum… London: John Wolfe, 1598.

Engraved map (375 x 532 mm) by Robert Beckit, with hand–coloring, strapwork title cartouche, numerous compass roses, sailing ships and sea battles, sea monsters, animals on the continent, and a vignette of Prestyr John, the mythical Christian king (trimmed to border, old folds, closed tear near edge repaired on verso).

RARE ENGLISH EDITION of Linschoten’s map of Eastern Africa, which appeared in the rare English edition of Linschoten’s Itinerario, Iohn Huighen van Linschoten. his discours of voyages into ye Easte & West Indies… (1598) with entirely newly engraved maps in London by Robert Beckit, Raygnald Elstrak, and William Rogers. The work, first published in Holland in 1596, is arguably one of the most influential books ever published as it gave access to the spice trade, first, Holland and then later to other European nations. The map, with its large bold compass roses and dramatic heeling ships is redolent of the portolan charts of the Portuguese which Linschoten had access to when he was secretary to the Portuguese Archbishop of Goa in India (Goa at this time was the commercial and political center for the Portugal Empire in the East). Tooley describes the map as being “the earliest and most decorative special map of the east coast of Africa embracing the eastern Cape, Natal, Portuguese East and Kenya”. In 1589, Linschoten left Goa and sailed home to The Netherlands. On the way to Portugal, his ship was pursued by an English fleet and lost its cargo in a storm while anchored off the Azores where he would then spend the next two years helping recover the lost cargo and prepare his notes from Goa. His account of his experience is one of the most important travel works of the period. Linschoten is credited as being “one of the pathfinders for the first Dutch voyages to the East” (Schilder, p. 195). OCLC locates only two copies in American holdings (Stanford University and New York Public Library). “The Wolfe edition of Linschoten’s work is very rare on the market, as are the individual maps” (Barry Ruderman catalogue note). Norwich 239b; Tooley, MCCS 29, 168.

 [MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van (1563–1611). Delineatio O...
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