This is one of the most dramatic folio world maps from the Dutch "cartes-à-figures" period. The map is flanked with eight sovereigns on horseback in the upper border, ten pairs of male and female costume figures from European countries in the lower, and eighteen vignette views of cities, and with two inset Biblical scenes, and an elaborate title cartouche incorporating nine portraits, Ptolemy and eight famous mariners, including Columbus, Magellan and Drake.
This map first appeared in 1622. Following the death of his first wife, van den Keere was forced to sell many map plates. This map passed to Dirck Evertsen Lons, who reprinted it in the same year. Subsequently the plates passed to Janssonius who reprinted it in 1628 and 1632, as here.
Separately-published maps of this kind have a very high mortality rate, unless an early owner incorporated them into a volume, and it is through being bound that many such maps survive today. Unfortunately, van den Keere prepared this map to an oversize folio format, too large to fit conveniently into contemporary atlases, hence its rarity today, and the reason that this example has been folded down to atlas folio format, with separation to the vulnerable folds - particularly affecting the equestrian figures along the upper border.
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