1650 Jan Jansson Large Rare Antique Map of India and The Bay of Bengal

Cartographer : Jan Jansson

This exceedingly impressive hand coloured original antique map of the Bay of Bengal, India - stretching from Sri Lanka to the west coast of Thailand - was published by Jan Jansson in the 1650 Edition of his "Water World" atlas Atlantis Majoris. There were far fewer editions of this atlas published than Janssons more prevalent Atlas Novus.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Green, red, orange, yellow, blue
General color appearance: - Authentic  
Paper size: - 23 1/2in x 20in (600mm x 510mm)
Plate size: - 21 1/2in x 19in (545mm x 485mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - Very light spotting 
Verso: - Very light spotting 

Maps of India, much distorted in shape, appear in most world atlases from the time of Ptolemy, the earliest usually showing India as a relatively small extension of Southern Asia, dominated by the very large island of Taprobana (Ceylon). In later sixteenth-century maps de Jode, Ortelius and Mercator gave a much improved outline of both lands but India was still shown too small in relation to the whole continent. Most publishers in the seventeenth century continued to issue maps but with little improvement in detail until about 1719 when a French Jesuit priest, Father Jean Bouchet, compiled an accurate map of South India, subsequently used by G. Delisle (1723), Homann Heirs (1735) and by J. B. B. d'Anville, then the French East India Company's cartographer, as the basis for his greatly improved maps in 1737 and 1752.

In the next decade Alexander Dalrymple published a collection of newly surveyed coastal charts and plans of ports and, about the same time, in 1764, James Rennell, a young British Army officer who showed a remarkable aptitude for surveying, was appointed - at the age of 21- Surveyor General of Bengal; he immediately set in motion a comprehensive survey of the Company's lands, subsequently publishing maps of Bengal and other provinces which eventually formed The &ngal Atlas (1779). His other works included a Map of Hindoustan (1782-85) and The Provinces of Delhi, Agra etc and the Indian Peninsula (1788-94). These maps by Reunell provided the basis for a Trigonometrical Survey of India which was initiated in 1802 and for splendid maps published in London by Cary, the Arrowsmiths (1804-22) and the Wylds. (Ref: Tooley, M&B)