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Herman Moll: A Map of the North Pole

Map: POLAR531
Cartographer: Herman Moll
Title: A Map of the North Pole
Date: c. 1750
Published: London
Width: 11 inches / 28 cm
Height: 8 inches / 21 cm
Map ref: POLAR531
Herman Moll's smaller map of the Arctic showing the latest European discoveries and with two paragraphs of text, one explaining the ongoing search for a northwest or northeast passage to China and the other describing the concept of the Arctic midnight sun.

The North Pole itself is entirely unknown without any of the speculative mapping which often appeared in the 17th century. Greenland is correctly shown as a single landmass, though with very little detail and uncertainty as to whether it connects to North America or is separated by a straight. Curiously, there are two Greenlands marked on the map: 'Old west Greenland' (known to us as Greenland) and 'New or East Greenland' located east of Svalbard. This 'New Greenland' most likely results from confusion over whether Nordauslandet, a large island in the Svalbard Archipelago, was part of Spitzbergen or a separate landmass altogether.

Original hand colour. [POLAR531]