Some Very Old Maps from Martayan Lan
The Arctic also looked very different at the turn of the 17th century. The Mercator map Septentrionalium Terrarum description, the first separate map of the arctic, combined the latest information from Canada with an older, fictional view of the polar region. The North Pole actually is a sea, as he imagined, though not one of liquid. However, the rest of the map shows four large streams, flowing into the polar sea, with the rest of that ocean surrounded by four large islands. Of course, none of this exists. One other important feature of Mercator's map is the open sea to the north of Canada, all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Mercator was making the statement that there was a Northwest Passage. He believed there was a navigable waterway, and his maps helped encourage the centuries of exploration in the North which followed in an attempt to locate this shortcut to Asia. Item 39. $4,850.
The De L'Isle and Bauche map of 1750, Carte Des Nouvelles Decouvertes Au Nord De La Mer Du Sud, has its own strange feature. It displays North America and the eastern part of Russia, much of it quite accurate for the time. However, there is this enormous sea in the northwestern portion of North America. It appears to cover most of inland Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, plus most of the states of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and the province of Alberta. Apparently, Juan de Fuca had speculated about the existence of such an inland sea a century earlier, but that was very little evidence on which to conclude there really was a "Sea of the West." Item 41. $7,500.
Item 77, the Cellarius map of the solar system, Planisphaerium Braheum... displayed Tyco Brahe's attempt to reconcile the traditional Ptolemaic, church supported view that the sun and planets revolved around the Earth, with the reality of the movement of the planets which implied otherwise. Brahe's compromise was ingenious. He concluded that the planets revolved around the sun, explaining their inconsistent movements, but that the sun then revolved around the Earth. It explained planetary movement while still keeping the earth at the center of the universe. It was a nice explanation, but suffered from being inaccurate. $6,500.
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