Tag Archives: giclee

The Cape Verde in the 18th Century

cape verde vintage map reproduction

Map of the Cape Verde Islands, 1746.

Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony and an important supply station for the whalers and the slave traders’ ships on their way to and from America. In 1680, the eruption of Pico del Fogo, the archipelago’s largest volcano, resulted in the movement of the population within the islands. In 1712, the French Navy Captain Jacques Cassard raided and destroyed Ribeira Grande, the original capital of the archipelago and caused yet another migration of the population within a relatively short period of time. As a consequence of these two events, Praia became the new capital of Cape Verde from 1770 onwards. Both Riberia Grande and Praia, the old and new capital, are depicted on this map. Due to the frequent famines in the mid-18th century that were caused by a series of droughts, thousands of people starved to death. The remaining population was a mix of Portuguese settlers and slaves originally from West Africa. Cape Verdean Creole evolved as a mixture of the Portuguese and West African languages.

The history of Cape Verde is narrated in Richard A. Loban Jr’s “Cape Verde: Crioulo Colony to Independent Nation”.

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The Establishment of Saint Petersburg, Russia’s New Cultural Centre

antique map reproduction of russia

Map of Eastern and Northern Europe, 1711.

Under Peter the Great, who ruled between 1682 and 1725, Russia underwent a thorough transition into an Empire of global importance. Tsar Peter visited Western Europe, which inspired him to introduce new standards into Russian society. One of the large projects he designed was the foundation of Saint Petersburg, a new city named after him. The need to have a seaport that would enable better access to the West was the reason he founded the city in 1703. The city was built by serfs from all over Russia and it quickly became the showpiece and cultural centre of the Empire. On this map from 1711, only eight years after Saint Petersburg had been founded, the city is already indicated with “Nouvelle ville” (New City). In 1712, it became the capital of Russian Tsardom, later an Empire.

The life of the tsar is fully covered in the biography “Peter the Great: his Life and World” by Robert K. Massie.

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The Stuart Dynasty Attempts to Regain the British Throne

uk vintage map

Map of the British Isles, 1744.

In 1747, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland were under the reign of King George II. A couple of years before this map was printed, the Jacobite Rising took place in 1745. The uprising was an attempt by Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, to restore the Stuart dynasty to the British throne.

The atmosphere of this event is well described in Walter Scott’s novel “Waverley” and Diane Cavaldon’s popular “Outlander” series.

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Java under Dutch Control

java antique map reproduction

Map of the Island of Java, 1700

In 1700, Java was part of a Dutch colony that had been administered through the Dutch East India Company (VOC) for almost one hundred years. The VOC controlled much of the spice trade in the area of what is today Indonesia and beyond that. Batavia (today known as Jakarta) was established as the VOC headquarters in 1619. Based on agreements with the native kingdoms on Java, only Dutch ships were allowed to trade in the archipelago and so the VOC became the dominant ruler in the area. The Dutch sent close to a million people to Indonesia in the 17th and 18th centuries to further strengthen its control over the region.

Europe and a wider world, 1415–1715” by the British historian J. H. Parry comprehensively covers the Dutch colonial era in Indonesia.

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The Sun King’s France

antique map reproduction france

Historical Map of France Depicting the Country during the Rule of Louis XIV., 1760.

This map shows the administrative division of France during the rule of Louis XIV of France, also known also as Louis the Great or The Sun King, who ruled the country between 1643 and 1715. Some of the overseas French colonies of that period and plans of major French cities are also included. Louis XIV is one of the most significant figures in French history, having a strong influence on developments elsewhere in Europe (the War of the Spanish Succession) and overseas (the French colonies).

His personal life was as turbulent as his life as a statesman and is fully described in Antonia Fraser’s “Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King”.

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Antarctica Yet To Be Discovered

antarctica vintage map reproduction

Map of the South Pole and the Adjoining Regions, 1803.

Long before Antarctica had been explored as a continent, there was frequent speculation about Terra Australia (Southern Land), a vast landmass located in the very south of the Earth, which balanced the continents in the northern hemisphere.

When circumnavigating the southernmost point of the South American mainland in 1520, Ferdinand Magellan believed that the land he was passing on the left side was actually an extension of the unexplored southern land. In reality, what he actually saw were the islands of Tiera del Fuego, the southernmost part of what is today Argentina. When Australia was discovered at the beginning of the 17th century, it was believed to be part of the Terra Australis. It was Abel Tasman who, about forty years later, proved that Australia was separated from the southern continent by the sea.

Captain James Cook first crossed the Antarctic Circle in 1772. Cook mapped a large part of the Southern Pacific and the Atlantic very well during his voyages and proved that Tiera del Fuego and New Zealand were not one landmass but were separated by the sea — a large ocean. It is now clear that Cook was very close to Antarctica and probably got as close as 240km (150miles) from the continent’s mainland. However, he never landed on its shores nor sighted land, as he was stopped by floating ice on his way further south. This is why this map, printed 30 years after his voyages, still does not depict the continent. Nevertheless, there are four zigzag lines representing Cook’s attempts to discover the southern continent, two of which can be seen within the Antarctic Circle.

Antarctica was finally discovered a couple of years later; the first sighting is documented in 1819 and the first landing documented in 1821.

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The Foundation of Antananarivo

antique map reproduction madagascar

Map of the Island of Madagascar, 1677.

In the 17th century, the majority of the territory that is now Madagascar was part of the Marina Kingdom (c. 1540–1897). Antananarivo, the present day capital city of the modern state of Madagascar, was founded around the time the map was first printed. In the local language, Antananarivo means the city of the thousand. Back then, it took time to include a newly founded town into a map, which is why Antananarivo is not shown on this map.

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Sicilian Baroque: Revival of the Island after a Devastating Earthquake

vintage map poster of sicily

Map of the Island of Sicily, 1701.

In 1693, Sicily and neighbouring Calabria and Malta experienced one of the most destructive earthquakes ever recorded in the history of Italy. The estimated magnitude was 7.6 degrees. Approximately 60,000 people died and 70 towns were destroyed. The eastern coast of the island was the most severely affected where the aftermath was catastrophic. At that time, Sicily was under the rule of the Spanish Crown; therefore, the Spanish administration initiated a major recovery and rebuilding programme after the quake. The extent of the construction boom in the years that followed was enormous. The latest European trends in urban planning and architecture were brought to the island. New cities were founded as in many cases it was preferred to start from scratch rather than repair the original ruins. A specific “Sicilian Baroque” style was developed, which represented the best practices achieved in baroque style across Europe at that time. Sicilian Baroque was used until the 1730s, by which time most of the destroyed infrastructure was rebuild.

John Julius Norwich’s “Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History” also focuses on this crucial times in the island’s history.

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Power Division of the Western Balkans in the Early 17th Century

croatia vintage map reproduction

Map of the Western Balkans, 1603.

At the beginning of 17th century, the Western Balkan region was divided between three powers: the Republic of Venice dominated the peninsula of Istria and the Northern part of Dalmatia; the Hapsburg Monarchy ruled a strip of coastline between Istria and Dalmatia and the adjoining inland area of what is today Croatia. The last big power in the region was the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the area of what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia. The Republic of Radusa with its centre of Dubrovnik was also officially a vassal territory of the Turks. The borders of these territories are marked with a dotted line on the map.

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1780s: Canada Is Shaping Up

canada vintage map reproduction

Map of the Atlantic Canada, 1785.

The map covers the territory of what is today Atlantic Canada. In 1785, they were the British Colonies of Newfoundland, St. John’s Island (today called Prince Edward Island), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick (which split from Nova Scotia in 1784).

This map was released just eighteen years after Captain James Cook surveyed and mapped the area between 1763 and 1767. This was his second trip to the region; he first arrived as a soldier of the British Crown in 1757–1758 where he participated in the Siege of Quebec during this military expedition.

In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed and the United States officially recognized as an independent country by the British and other signatories. The Treaty also laid out how the borders would be charted in the area and granted fishing rights to the American fishermen in Atlantic Canada. Quebec was also a British colony at that time. However, after the arrival of 10,000 loyalists from the newly founded USA in 1791, the province of Quebec was divided into Lower Canada: a predominantly French-speaking region downriver of St. Lawrence River covering the south-eastern part of modern-day Quebec and areas on the Labrador peninsula that are nowadays part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Upper Canada, a predominantly English-speaking region upriver of St. Lawrence covering what is the southern part of the modern-day Province of Ontario.

Ann and Seamus”, a historical novel by Kevin Major set in Newfoundland about 40 years after this map was first printed narrates a story of Irish immigrants who were shipwrecked on the shore of the island when on their way to Quebec.

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