New York Map Society
My Favorite Map
Andrew Kapochunas: 1613-43 Hessel
(engraver) - Willem Blaeu
(publisher): "MAGNI DVCATVS
LITVANIAE," 28.9 x 29.3 inch wall map
in four sheets, Amsterdam.

This is my biggest and best map of
historic Lithuania, a significant
achievement in mapping this area. All
maps of this size are dated 1613, but it
was published until 1643, first
appearing in an atlas in 1630. It is
based on survey drafts prepared by
Maciej Strubicz and others under
instructions of Prince Mikołaj Krzysztof
(Radvilas, in Lithuanian).  
"DVCATVS LITVANIAE," Amsterdam. is a
close approximation of my map, but has
discoloring in the central vertical fold,
which my example does not have. The
map was too big for me to scan, and is
now under museum glass in my home.
Fredric Shauger:
"Exquisita & magno aliquot mensium periculo lustrata
etiam retecta Freti Magellanici facies," from the 1606 or
later editions of the Mercator-Hondius atlas. Printed area:
35 x 46cm, on sheet 46.5 x 56 cm

The first state of this map bore the name of Lambert
Cornelisz as the engraver and the address of Zacharias
Heyns in the space between the two cartouches at the
bottom. The notations were removed by Hondius shortly
after publication. The state portrayed here shows a blank
space where the notations had been.

The map is oriented with South at the top as indicated by
an elaborate compass rose. On the left (East) is the    
“Mar del Nort,” with one ship exiting the Eastern end of
the Strait and the aforementioned fleet of de Waerdt on
the right (west) sailing in the Mar del Zur. Two land
masses are portrayed. At the top is “Tierre Del Fuogo.”
Except for mountains lining the shore and six named  
bays along the Strait, Tierra del Fuego is truly a terra
incognita. The amorphous island actually fades away as  
it reaches the border of the map. Behind the title
cartouche the island   is undefined. “America Pars”
defines the map's lower land mass. The Strait snakes
between the two, lined with numbers indicating the
varying depth of the water.

There are three cartouches. The title of the map is
contained in the cartouche in the upper left. To the lower
right is the scale of the map. On the lower left is a sea
level profile which presumably helped sailors identify the
entrance to  the Strait. All three cartouches have three
dimensional fretworks that are typical of the maps of
Ortelius, Mercator and Hondius.