M-13904: (Image: 16 ¼ x 22’’) “AMERICAE nova Tabula.” Amsterdam: Willem J. Blaeu, c. 1644.
Very fine engraved map with original hand-coloring. Verso text: French. Important cornerstone map of the Americas! (Ref: Burden #189, Potter, Antique Maps, p.47-illustrated; Goss, The Mapping of North America, #26-illustrated; Tooley, The Mapping of America, p296-7; Nebenzahl, The Compass, #16-3).
“This magnificent map sums up the general European view of the western hemisphere in the early seventeenth century…” (Goss). The paneled borders at each side show full-length portraits of Native Americans - identifying the region they are from (Virginia, Florida…). The oval views across the top depict views of important American settlements such as Havana, Santo Domingo, Cartagena, Mexico, Cusco, Potosi, and Rio de Janiero.
The map is profusely decorated with ships and sea monsters. The Great Lakes are not shown, and the Mississippi is still quite a mystery. This exceptional map is “the most important American map by Holland’s greatest mapmaker of the period” (Nebenzahl).