M-12498: (Image: 12 1/8 x 18 ˝’’) “ORBIS TERRARUM TABULA…” Amsterdam: Nicholas Visscher, c. 1663. Engraved map with later hand-coloring. (Shirley #431 - illustrated; Poortman & Augusteijn # 118 - illustrated). Closed tear center left margin into margin of the sphere.
This 17th century map is both a work of art and cartographic curiosity. The St. Lawrence River originates in the Rocky Mountains and flows into the Atlantic, there are no Great Lakes, and contrary to the “advanced” ideas of the day, California is shown as a peninsula. The upper Northwest Coast also has a strange shape and the mythical Kingdom of Quivira is clearly marked. Surrounding the map are personifications of the four continents: Europe is shown with musical and scientific instruments, and domestic animals; Africa is with a lion and an alligator; Asia wears silks and jewels, and in the background are animals such as an elephant and camel; America is wearing a feather headdress, has a bow and quiver of arrows for hunting, while in the background are other native Americans and a very large dragon. The two small hemispheres show the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems of the Universe.