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Map, West Indies, Caribbean, Jan Jansson, Antique Print, Amsterdam, 1637


Jan Jansson (1596-1664) et al.
Insulae Americanae in Ocean Septentrionali, cum Terris adiacentibus
[American Islands in Northern Ocean, with Adjacent Lands]
from Appendix Atlantis
Jan Jansson, Amsterdam: 1637
Hand-colored engraving
15 x 20.5 inches, plate mark
17.5 x 22.25 inches, overall

Maritime map of the North Atlantic, centered on the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida peninsula and the islands of the Caribbean, and also including Central America, and parts of the East Coast of North America and the north coast of South America. The map is crisscrossed by rhumb lines centered on three compass roses, and embellished with a Mannerist strap work cartouche in the upper left, incorporating putti and animals, including a turtle, a bat, a snake and a lizard. Other decorations include a smaller distance scale, also decorated with putti, and tall ships in the ocean. Text verso is in Latin.

Product description continues below.


The map publishers and business competitors the Blaeu and Hondius families of cartographers frequently copied each other’s maps. In this case, Jan Jansson (probably working with Hondius), copied one by Blaeu with the same title that was issued in 1635. Blaeu’s source was a rare map, circa 1631, by Hessel Gerritsz, who had charted the West Indies and South America on a voyage in 1628. Jansson’s version of Insulae Americanae in Ocean Septentrionali was printed in 1636 as part of the Atlas Novus, and reissued several more times during the 17th century, in Latin, French, German, Dutch and Spanish. In 1694, the copperplates were sold, apparently to the Amsterdam firm of Valk and Schenk, who added their names to a later version.

The dating and source of the map offered here derives from the work of Koeman, an authority on Dutch maps. Different editions of the maps can be identified by the code imprinted on the back, in this case “iiiii.” That code indicates it is from Jansson’s Appendix Atlantis (1637). (Burden).

Jan Jansson (Joannes Janssonius in Latin) was a contemporary and rival of the Dutch mapmaker Willem Janszoon Blaeu during the 17th century, when Amsterdam was a major European center for the production of maps. He produced maps of France and Italy in 1616 and an edition of Ptolemy’s Geography in 1617 and also constructed globes. Jansson married the sister of mapmaker Henry Hondius and with Hondius co-published the second volume of the Mercator-Hondius Atlas in 1633. Upon Hondius’ death around 1650, Jansson took over his business. Jansson published numerous other volumes of maps and atlases from 1638, including his reissue of Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum in 1657. His business was later acquired by Peter Schenk, who republished his major atlas about 1683.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases. Few short tears and areas of paper weakness, generally caused by oxidation of green outline color, professionally restored. Backstrip removed. Latin text verso as issued.


Burden, Philip D. The Mapping of North America: A List of Printed Maps 1511-1670. Herts, England: Raleigh Publications, 1996. Item 248, pp. 315-316.

Koeman, C. Atlantes Neerlandici. Bibliography of terrestrial, maritime and celestial atlases and pilot books published in the Netherlands up to 1880. Volume II, Ja 14. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd. 1967-1985.

Potter, Jonathan. Collecting Antique Maps: An Introduction to the History of Cartography. London: Jonathan Potter, 1999. p. 61.

“The Jaime Ortiz-Patino Collection of Important Books and Manuscripts Sale, NY7119, Lot 136.” Sotheby’s. 21 April 1998. (12 April 2006).

Tooley, R.V. Maps and Map-Makers. 4th Ed. New York: Bonanza Books, 1970. pp. 33-34, 70.

Additional information


17th Century