Arnold Colom's
Zee-Atlas
1658

Referring to the Zee Atlas, Koeman wrote:
"This chartbook by Arnold Colom ... is one of the most important atlases in the well known category of Dutch sea-atlases. It is not the first of the group: Joannes Janssonius' Atlas Maritimus (1650), which constitutes volume 5 of the Novus Atlas opens the series ... Contrary to the rather unhomogenous set of charts by Janssonius, Arnold Colom assembled a coherent group of 15 charts, later increased to 17 plus a world map. ... Arnold Colom's three charts of the oceans are on the same scale (1:14mill.) as Portuguese and Spanish charts of that time.  It marked the first time that such charts were published as atlas sheets ..." (Atlantes Neerlandici, IV, p.115).
The Zee-Atlas is one of the largest format sea-atlases published in Amsterdam of the period, and also one of the scarcest.  This may reflect the dominance that publishers like Johannes Janssonius enjoyed, or perhaps that the format was simply too large for convenient use.

That the atlas, and his other cartographic ventures, were not successful would seem to be confirmed also by the fact that Colom fell heavily in arrears with his rent.  In a notarial act of 1663, Colom gave his landlord, another prominent cartographic publisher Nicolaas Visscher (II), security for the debt, which included the eighteen printing plates for the 'Zee-Atlas.'  It would appear that Colom died, in 1668, without redeeming the plates, for no later editions by him are known.

The plates are next heard of in the possession of Hendrick Doncker Sr., a chart-publisher.  Visscher, who specialised exclusively in terrestrial maps, presumably did not feel inclined to reprint the atlas himself, as many of his competitors might well have done, but preferred to recoup some of his money.

Doncker proceeded to re-issue the plates, with his imprint substituted, in his large format sea-atlas, De Nieuwe Groote Vermeerderde Zee-Atlas, published from 1675 onwards.  However, it should be noted, contrary to Koeman Don 15, that the example of the 'First Edition' of this atlas in the New York Public Library's Map Division is actually an example of his smaller format sea-atlas issued with this new title-page, as it contains none of the large format maps.  So, the first appearance of these charts, with Doncker's imprint is the 1676 edition (Don. 16)

However, it would appear that Doncker was unhappy with the large format, and for the 1688 edition (Koeman, Don. 23) some of the plates were replaced, while others had the copperplates cut down to make a smaller format, and appeared thus in subsequent editions as, for example the chart of New England (described in 'Charting Of New England', nos.7-11, in Issue 2).

References

Koeman, Ir. C. Atlantes Neerlandici Volume IV Celestial and maritime atlases and pilot books (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd, 1970): Colom, Arnold & A.Col. 1 -3 & Doncker, Hendrick, & Don.16 - 29;

With the following additions and amendments:

Many of the charts appear to have had Colom's street address re-engraved, but not his name, or shop sign.  In these cases the lettering is significantly different, and frequently cramped to fit the available space.

The two British Library examples are described as being Koeman's second and third edition respectively.  In fact, both are his second edition, without the Pacific map.

The Nordenskiold Collection, in Helsinki University Library contains a French text edition of the Zee-Atlas, not noted by Koeman.
 

The accompanying table lists six examples, showing variants in the number of charts, and plate numbers.
 
1: Het Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (described briefly by Koeman), with the ascribed date 1654, with 16 charts, not seen by this writer but presumably lacking the chart 'Pascaerte van Nieu Nederlandt ...', which is dated 1656.
2: Amsterdam, Maritime Museum
3: BL, Maps C.26.f.24;
4: BL, Maps C.26.f.25;
5: Nordenskiold Collection Catalogue, I, 53;
6: the example being collated, by courtesy of E. Forbes Smiley III.


The first British Library example also contains a dedication to the Board of the Admiralty in Rotterdam, not referred to by Koeman:

Aen de Wel-Edele Mogende Heeren / DE HEEREN / GECOMMITTEERDE / RADEN / Ter / ADMIRALITEYT / Tot / ROTTERDAM.

                   {
Van wegen {
                   { //

GELDERLAND, Joncker Evert van Deelen, Heere tot Laêr, Burger- / meester tot Harderwijck, &c.
De Ridderschap van HOLLANT, Joncker Willem van Matenes, Heere tot / Rasquaert, &c.
DORDRECHT, Mijn Heer M.r Diderich Hoeuft, Heer van Fontaine Peu- / reuse, uyt den Oudt-raadt.
DELFT, Mijn Heer M.r Arent van de Graef, Raad ende Vroedschap.
ROTTERDAM, Mijn Heer Adriaan Hartman, Regeerend Burger- / meester.
GORINCHEM, Mijn Heer Brieuen Manson, Oud Schepen, Raad en- / de Vroedschap.
SCHIEDAM, Mijn Heer Pieter Ionasz. Oud Burgermeester.
BRIEL, Mijn Heer Symon van der Poth, Oud Burgermeester.
ZEELANT, Mijn Heer Nicolaas Kien.
UYTRECHT, Mijn Heer Gijsbert de Wijckersloot, Oud Burgermeester.
VRIESLANT, Joncker Schelto van Ieltinga.
OVER-YSSEL, Joncker Iohan van Steenwijck, tot Bockenhaven.
De Heer M.r Michiel van de Broek, Advocaat Fiskaal.
De Heer M.r Pieter Splinter, Secretaris.
De Heer Adriaen van Berkel, Ontfanger Generaal.
 

*
Contents States 1 2 3 4 5 6
Title    Latin Dutch Dutch Dutch French Dutch
Leezer   Latin Dutch Dutch Dutch French Dutch
Text   Latin Dutch Dutch Dutch French Dutch
Ded: Amsterdam     Dutch Dutch Dutch French Dutch
Ded: Rotterdam       Dutch      
World     1 1 1 [1] [1]
Noord Zee     2 1 1 1 1
Oost Zee     3 2 2 2 2
Scandinavia     4 4 4 4 4
Canaal     5 5 5 5 5
Hispangien     6 [6] [6] [6] [6]
Middel-landtsche     7 7 7 7 7
Vlaamsche     8 8 8 8 8
Brazil     9 12 12 [12] [12]
Zuyder Deel      10 13 13 13 13
West Indies     11 14 14 14 14
Carybsche Pascaart     12 15 15 12 [15]
Nieu Nederlandt     13 16 lost 16 16
Guinea     14 9 9 9 9
Cape tot Ceilon     15 10 10 10 10
Oost Indien     16 11 11 11 11
Sondt En Belt     17 3 3 3 3
Pacific     n/p n/p n/p [17] [17]
Index   16 Maps          

Collation of a Zee Atlas

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