A sumptuously presented ‘Zee-fackel’ from the library of F.C. Koch
By KEULEN, Johannes van, 1682
De Nieuwe Groote Lichtende Zee-Fackel Behelsende ‘t Eerste, ‘t Tweede, ‘t Darde, ‘t Vierde, Vijfde of ‘t Laetste Deel … beschruvinge, van alle bekende Haavens … door J. van Loon, en C.J. Vooght.
- Author: KEULEN, Johannes van
- Publication place: t’Amsterdam
- Publisher: Gedruckt by Johannes van Keulen, Boeck en Zee-Kaart-Verkooper, aen de Oost-zyde van de Nieuwe-Brugh, in de Gekroonde Lootsman
- Publication date: –1689.
- Physical description: Folio (555 by 340mm), five parts in one volume, Dutch text, printed general title, dated 1689, engraved allegorical titles (after Johannes van Luyken) in Parts I, II, and V, second allegorical title tipped-in to size at foot, dedication and address to reader, and 137 double-page engraved mapsheets in fine contemporary hand-colour, several heightened with gold, numerous woodcut coastal profiles and smaller detail charts in the text also hand-coloured, small hole in one chart, occasional offsetting or slight browning, original publisher’s vellum, panelled in gilt with foliate roll-tooled border, corner pieces, central gilt foliate device incorporating armillary sphere, gilt edges.
- Inventory reference: 1023
The atlas is justly famous for its fine vignettes, mostly by van Luyken, depicting regional costume, customs, flora and fauna. Geographically, the ‘Zee-Fackel’ is of particular interest for its mapping of the Americas. It includes detailed charts of Dutch interests in Surinam, Guiana, and the Caribbean, a large-scale and hopelessly inaccurate chart of the Bahamas, and one of the earliest obtainable coastal charts of New England: a detailed chart of Cape Cod, including, curiously, a palm tree-inspired cartouche. Further, Van Keulen was one of the first chartmakers to incorporate Augustine Hermann’s landmark mapping of the Chesapeake from 1673, even to the extent of utilizing Hermann’s symbols for the plantations along the bay and various rivers.
The atlas is also noteworthy for its coverage of the Archangel and the White Sea, which reflects the growth of Dutch trade and interest in the region during the mid to late seventeenth century.
The contents of the present example correspond closely with that of the 1689 atlas in the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam and collates as follows:
— Part I: Northern Europe and the Arctic Circle; 33 charts, Koemam 34B including the world map by de Wit (Shirley 444, 1st state) and 32 charts of Northern Europe.
— Part II: Western Europe; 39 charts, Koeman 58B, including the additional map ‘Paskaarte van de Zuyder-zee met alle des Zels inkomende Gaaten …’ which Koeman first records as appearing in the edition of 1704 (Koeman, Keulen 64).
— Part III: Mediterranean; 17 charts, Koeman 87C.
— Part IV: North America and the West Indies; 24 charts, Koeman 109C with the addition of one map from part V: ‘Pascaarte van de Noorder Zee custen van America’.
— Part V: Africa and South America, the East Indies and the Pacific; 23 charts, Koeman 123C.
- Koeman, Keu 34B, 58B, 87C, 109C, 123C
- Koeman, C. (1967). Atlantes Neerlandici. Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. 6 vols.