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Jan Jansson: Tabula Magellanica Qua Tierrae del Fuego

Map: SAM3400
Cartographer: Jan Jansson
Title: Tabula Magellanica Qua Tierrae del Fuego
Date: c. 1640
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 22 inches / 56 cm
Height: 18 inches / 46 cm
Map ref: SAM3400
Spectacular map of the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego showing the route around Cape Horn which had been discovered by Le Maire & Schouten in 1615-16. The 'shark tooth' shape of Tierra del Fuego was theorized by Le Maire who thought that Cape Horn was a true cape connected to the larger landmass of Tierra del Fuego. In fact, Cape Horn is a separate island to the south of Tierra del Fuego which is itself split into several smaller islands. The Magellan Straits are, comparatively well mapped and extraordinarily close to the true shape.

As if to celebrate the achievements of Le Maire & Schouten, both Dutch mapmakers, this map is rich in decoration. The two large cartouches in the lower corners depict the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego alongside a group of peculiar looking penguins and some richly coloured sea shells. A vignette on Tierra del Fuego, or 'Magellanica', shows an indigenous group hunting a large ostrich-like rhea with bows and poles. Another shows a family group gathered around, drinking and talking.

Descriptive text on the verso in Gothic German. Original hand-colour. [SAM3400]