Map of the North Pole

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Map of the North Pole, c.1620, Gerard Mercator.

  • 100% Silk
  • Hand Rolled
  • Designed and Printed in Britain
  • 42cm x 42cm

Combining mythical islands, recent observations and inherited stories, this map of the North Pole was made by the Flemish cartographer Gerard Mercator, and first published in an atlas in 1595. Drawing on an account by a fifteenth-century English monk, the map shows the North Pole itself as a large black magnetic rock, surrounded by a whirlpool which drew water in through the channels between the encircling islands.

Using detail from contemporary voyages in search of a North-West passage, the map includes new place names, used by the navigators Davis and Frobisher to achieve fame and favour by making claims to land during their long voyages.

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With thanks to:

Royal Museums Greenwich

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