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 Maps of the Arctic


 [Polus Arcticus], published by De Vry (Theodore) in Amsterdam in 1599, 14 x 11 inches (360mm x 280mm)


This map originally appeared in Gerrit de Veer's work which told of Barent's third voyage and has the latest depictions of Bear Island, Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya. The great leap forward was the omission of the four islands popularised by Gerhard Mercator.

 [Ref No: POLAR28]



Polus Arcticus, published by Quad (Matthias) in Cologne in 1609, 11 x 9 inches (280mm x 230mm)


Quad was still using the Mercator protype with the four islands based on the "Inventio Fortunaae". The islands in the corner insets are the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands and the mythical Frisland Island.
[Ref No: POLAR 27]



 Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio, published by Mercator Hondius in Amsterdam circa 1620, 15 x 14 inches (380mm x 350mm)


An influential map partly based on "Inventio Fortunatae", a work written by a 14th century monk. It described the North Pole with its four countries that surround a wirlpool into which four seas empty into the earth as through a funnel. Right under the pole in the midst of a sea lay a bare magnetic rock.
[Ref No: POLAR 111]



Poli Arctici, published by Hondius (J. and H.) in Amsterdam circa 1630, 21 x 16 inches (530mm x 410mm)

The imaginary islands of the earlier Hondius map have been removed and this map is honest in that it only shows confirmed geography. It is surrounded by a pictorial border showing whale hunting and its processing.
[Ref No: POLAR 61]



Nova et Accurata Poli Artici et Terrarium Circum Incentium, published by Jansson (Jan) in Amsterdam in 1666, 21 x 16 inches (530mm x 410mm)


This map originally appeared in the 1636 atlas and draws upon the geography of his predessors Mercator and Hondius. The cartouche in the lower right corner shows arctic foxes, a polar bear and two Inuits.
[Ref No: POLAR 76]


Regiones Sub Polo Arctico, published by Blaeu (Willem and Jan) in Amsterdam circa 1640, 21 x 16 inches (530mm x 410mm)


Blaeu appropriated the geography for this arctic map from Jansson which is why it is almost exactly the same. The minor differences are that the title within the main cartouche is different and that there is a scale in the bottom right hand corner.
[Ref No: POLAR 10]


Terre Artiche, published by Coronelli (Vincenzo) in Venice circa 1692, 24 x 18 inches (610mm x 460mm)


A depiction of an ice flow surrounds an informative text panel that describes the discovery of the arctic and many of its characteristics, whilst the title cartouche features wind heads with icy breath. The map marks the latest discoveries such as Baffins Bay, Hudson Strait and an imaginary coast of Northern Siberia.
[Ref No: POLAR 96]

 ...Itineris Maritimi Navis Victoriae..., published by Scherer (Heinrich) in Munich circa 1700, 14 x 9 inches (360mm x 230mm)


This map of the World shown from the North Pole marks the route of Magellan's circumnaviagtion of the World. There is a vignette of Magellan's ship, the Victory and each stage of the navigation is marked with a tiny ship and dated.
[Ref No: POLAR 69]



Correct Draught of the North Pole, published by Bowen (Emmanuel) in London in 1748, 18 x 15 inches (460mm x 380mm)


This map has informative text at the base that describes the sources used to compile the map. The map marks the tracts of the English navigators and their attempts to find the North-East and North-West Passages.
[Ref No: POLAR 147]



Map of the North Polar Regions, published by Norie (John) in London in 1818, 19 x 20 inches (480mm x 510mm)


This map claims to be 'from the most recent and authentic voyages shewing the probable success of the present expedition and the tracks of H.M. Ships Shannon and Meleager, Capt Broughton in 1807 to 80° North Latitude'. The inscription on the right hand side of the map reads 'To Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke Bart. K. C.B. Captain of the Shannon. This map is most respectfully dedicated by his much obliged and humble friend, Henry Martin Leake, Lieut R. N. serving in the Shannon'.
[Ref No: POLAR 75]




The Arctic Regions Showing The North-West Passage of Capt. R. McClure And Other Arctic Voyagers, published by Fullarton (Archibold) in London in 1860, 12 x 18 inches (320mm x 460mm)


This map of the Arctic Regions has wonderful detail with an inset map of Wellington Channel and Melville Island. The pictorial vignettes depict H.M.S. Terror thrown up by the ice in frozen strait, "Prince Albert" surrounded by icebergs in Melville Bay, Cape Hotham with H.M.S. Pioneer and Resolute, Esquimaux Man and Boy, Esquimaux Female, Walrus or Horse, Seal hunting, Sledge Travelling and Building Snow Hut.
[Ref No: POLAR 113]



 Chart of North Polar Regions, published by the Scottish Geographical Society in Edinburgh in 1897, 19 x 17 inches (480mm x 430mm)


This tremendously detailed map shows the track of the 'Fram' in open water, the 'Fram's' drift in the polar ice and Nansen's and Johansen's sledge journey. Nansen, having come up with the brilliant idea of using the polar ice drift to bring them closer to the North Pole, managed to reach 86° by sledge on 7th April 1895.
[Ref No: POLAR 151]

For further reading on the North Pole and Arctic exploration, an excellent source is 'Ultima Thule' by Matti Lainema and Juha Nurminen, available for purchase at The Map House


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