DRAKE, Sir Francis (c.1540-1596) – [VAN SYPE, Nicola (fl. c.1580).] La heroike interprinse faict par le Signeur Draeck d’avoir cirquit toute la terre. [?Antwerp: c.1590].
Engraved world map (plate mark: 243 x 445mm), hand-coloured, possibly by a contemporary hand, printed on paper watermarked with a bunch of grapes with the letters ‘IG’ (conforming to Gravell Watermark Archive GRP.073.1, dated 1590), showing the route of Drake's circumnavigation of the globe 1577-1580 decoratively marked by galleons, two vignettes at lower corners, one showing Drake’s reception by the Sultan of Ternate, the other showing one of his ships cast on the rocks near Celebes, both with descriptive text in Dutch and French, descriptive cartouches in Dutch and French at top-left and below South America, circular portrait of Drake in South Atlantic, Arctic regions with Nova Zemlya and a northern continent above Canada labelled ‘Teraeorma’, European cities omitted, but with: St Augustine in Florida, Mexico City, and ‘Quivira’ shown in North America; Lima and Chili in South America; Tripoli, Mynne (just east of Sierra Leone) and Geneo (in modern-day Cameroon) in Africa; Jaffa, Jerusalem, Babylon and Mecca in the Middle East; Goa in India, and a number of cities in northern Siberia; the land masses with many stylistic mountains, Africa bisected by the River Nile, the sea stippled, central latitude and equatorial longitude scales, 1000 mile scale bar within cartouche just below portrait. (Small remains of old paper mounts on verso, some very faint soiling and creasing, a couple of tiny ink marks to eastern Canada and in the western Atlantic.)
UNRECORDED -- ONLY THE SECOND KNOWN COPY OF THIS IMPORTANT WORLD MAP SHOWING DRAKE’S CIRCUMNAVIGATION. Separately published, this map is distinct from but bears a close resemblance to what Kraus has described as ‘ONE OF THE GREATEST CARTOGRAPHIC TREASURES OF THE ELIZABETHAN ERA’ (p.102). Sometime between 1580 and 1584, Nicola Van Sype, of whom nothing is known as a cartographer, published a very similar map entitled La herdike [sic] enterprinse faict par le Signeur Draeck d’avoir cirquit toute la terre (Shirley 149); it is probably the earliest map showing Drake's route around the world, and most likely based on the now lost manuscript great 'Whitehall map' described by Samuel Purchas (see Kraus, 48, and p. 102, ill.; Shirley and Wagner cite 6 or 7 known copies only). The present lot has been extensively redrawn in comparison with this Van Sype map: the cartographer’s name has been removed, as has the description of Drake’s landing in California which has been replaced with a new northern Arctic continent above Canada, an extensive revision of Greenland and the addition of Nova Zemlya. Drake’s portrait varies too, and appears in a circle, rather than an oval. Elizabethan arms which appeared on Tierra del Fuego are now omitted, and the land masses are now filled with stylised mountains and the addition of cities.
THIS MAP EXISTS IN TWO VARIANTS, BOTH ONLY KNOWN BY A SINGLE COPY. The earlier issue in the Huntingdon Library has far fewer toponyms. This is the second issue, the only other known copy residing in the New York Public library. This is dated by Wagner to sometime after 1587, because the present lot names California, which first appears on Ortelius' map in that year. There are also many other names added that are of American interest. NO COPIES OF THIS MAP CAN BE TRACED AT AUCTION (RBH AND ABPC). H.P. Kraus, Sir Francis Drake. Amsterdam: 1970, 48; Shirley 151; H.R. Wagner, Sir Francis Drake's voyages around the world. San Francisco: 1926, pp.424-434.