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Pieter Goos (1616 – 1675)

was a Dutch cartographer, engraver, publisher and bookseller, born into a cartographer’s family. His father, Abraham (c. 1590 – 1643) had already published numerous globes, land and sea maps together with Jodocus Hondius the Elder and Johannes Janssonius. Pieter followed his footsteps, first creating pilot books; these contained a large number of navigation charts and were at the time published by many authors. A further improvement over the pilot books was the publication of sea atlases covering the whole world which was adopted by Pieter Goos. In 1650 he acquired from the widow the plate stock which Theunis Jacobsz had used for his „De Lichtende“ (1644) and used them in slightly revised form in his „De Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel“ which was published in the same year. Later Pieter Goos engraved new plates for his  „De Zee-Atlas Ofte Water-Wereld“, first edited in 1666, one of the most complete maritime atlases in existence in the second half of the 17th century which was re-published several times until 1675.

After Pieter Goos‘ death his widow continued the business with their son Hendrik and issued the „Nieuwe Groote Zee-Spiegel“ in 1678. Goos‘ sea-charts came to dominate the Dutch market until the 1680s when the van Keulen family began to come to prominence.

Size: 53 x 42 cm
Image: Original colour
Year: 1669

Map details

Pascaerte van Groen-Landt, Yslandt, Straet Davids en Ian Mayen eylandt; hoemen de selvige van Hitlandt en de Noortcusten van Schotlandt en Yrlandt beseylen mach

There are different states of this outstanding map of the North Atlantic.
The rare first edition appeared in 1650 in Goos’ „Columne“. It bears the curious page number 23 1/4 in the lower right corner and is without the coastline of „Nova Francia“ (Labrador). This was added in the second state which appeared in the „Zee-Atlas“ of 1666. In a new edition of the „Columne“ in 1669 a third state adds four small compass roses north of Scotland and these are to be found on this map.

The beautiful sea-chart of the North Atlantic is decorated in the upper center with a figurative title cartouche which is surrounded by native hunters as well as with compass roses, rhumb lines, sailing vessels and an allegoric ornate distance scale cartouche featuring Neptune and Merfolk in the lower left corner. The map shows Newfoundland, Labrador, Baffin Island with the eastern approach to the Northwest Passage, Davis Strait, Greenland, Iceland, Jan Mayen, the Faroe Islands, Ireland and the western part of the British Isles.It includes a detailed plan of coastlines, soundings, cliffs, anchorages, towns and rivers. There are place-names scattered along the coastlines, and inland detail is limited to a few mountains. In Baffin Island (here called „America“) there is a notation that translates as: „There is fresh fish, dead whales, white foxes and fresh salmon.“ A partial outline continues to the northeast of Greenland with a notation that the area is comprised of ice and large icebergs. Astonishingly the Arctic Circle is omitted.

Along the coastline of Iceland there are some names amongst them „Iokula“ (which probably stands for glacier) but the interior is completely empty. Not even the famous volcano Hekla is depicted.

In the ocean west and east of Iceland the mysterious islands „I. Gouberma“ and „Enchuysen Eyland“ are to be seen.

The „Schulte Collection“ contains three similar sea-charts: Goos of 1669, this one, Lootsman  of 1676 and van Keulen of 1681. According to Burden they are derivatives of an extremely rare map, Johannes Janssonius has published in 1634. The differences between Goos and van Keulen are described in the context of the van Keulen map.

The differences between Goos and Lootsman are as follows:
– In the title cartouche the text is the same but the three native hunters look slightly different.
– The compass roses are placed differently, for example the one in the upper right corner overlaps with the coastline, in the Lootsman map north of it.
– The sailing vessels are positioned differently.
– The double frame at the bottom of the  Lootsman map with the text:
„Amsterdam by Jacob Teunisz op‘t Water inde Lootsman“ is missing in the Goos map.
– The Lootsman map has the partial outline but the notation in the Goos map that the area is comprised of ice and larger icebergs is not there.

Comments by the collector

There was a competition in the map selling markets at the time between Jacob Colom, Lootsman, Pieter Goos, Hendrick Doncker and Jacob Robijn but also a certain cooperation. They supported each other by also selling the atlases of the competitors, used their maps to composite atlases under a new authorship and title, to publish „new“ maps by just changing details in maps and so on. This worked quite well until Johannes van Keulen and John Seller emerged as competitors and their defense finally collapsed.

The described business model makes it extremely difficult not only for collectors but also for map dealers to identify the author, the publisher, the printing and the publication year of a specific map with so many similar maps in the market at the time. Only the publications of a few experts (Koeman, Burden) can give advice.