Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer (c.1553-1606) was one of many Dutchmen who sailed the trading waters from Holland as far afield as Spain and the Baltic Sea. He retired from the sea in 1579 and began production of a series of charts using the knowledge he had gained. Part one of the ‘Spieghel der Zeevaerdt’ was published to critical acclaim in 1583, the second part followed in 1585. The book is the first printed sea atlas ever recorded. They are the first modern published sea charts and were engraved by the van Deutecom brothers. They were both functional and of great artistic merit. Campbell states ‘When Waghenaer published his ‘Spieghel der Zeevaerdt’ in 1583-84, he was breaking new ground in a number of ways. Nobody before had combined in one volume the charts, coastal profiles and sailing directions that any captain not navigating entirely from memory, or luck, would have required’.
This rare chart is the most desirable one in the atlas being the first general sea chart of western Europe and appeared in the First Part. The title reads ‘General plotting chart of Europe covering all coasts and navigation routes, experienced by Lucas Jansz Waghenaer’ and is dated 1583 above. It is here found in the usual third state with the addition of Latin titles to the seas amongst other alterations. It is engraved by Joannes van Doetecum. The map itself extends from the North Cape and Iceland to the Canary Islands and eastward to take in the Baltic Sea and the western Mediterranean Sea. It is a landmark map whose influence spawned numerous similar charts in the ensuing decades. Despite being a general chart the map makes cartographic advances particularly in the region of Scandinavia, the Gulf of Finland’s east-west extent being one notable improvement. Campbell (1981) Early Maps p. 86; Koeman (1967-70) IV p. 472 no. 1A; Schilder (2003) MCN VII pp. 77-80 4.2.1.