New Map of the South Sea
Carte Nouvelle de la Mer du Sud by Henry de Leth
This 1730 map from Henry de Leth was commissioned by the Dutch West India Company, which was founded to challenge Spanish and Portuguese economic interests. It shows approximately one-half of the world as settled and explored by competing European interests, with a focus on the Pacific Ocean and the established trade routes between Europe and Asia. It also perpetuates the error of California as an island.
The map is hand-colored and is generously decorated with engraved vignettes that include scenes depicting turtle-hunting, the operation of a sugar mill, gold mining and bird hunting in Mexico, and ritual human sacrifice. A large view of Cape Town, Africa, surrounded by lions and monkeys dominates the bottom right corner.
Courtesy Frank and Carol Holcomb, Houston
Time Period: 1690 - 1820
Exhibit: Collectors' Gallery: The Frank and Carol Holcomb Map Collection
This artifact is currently on view.