The Magnificent September Auction 2015

September 12,2015 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Petrus Kaerius  ***

Insulae Philippinae
dated ca. 1612 [1598]
colored
4” x 5 1/2” (10 cm x 14 cm)


PHP 40,000

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Private Collection, Manila

The first Western map to show the Philippines as a separate area specifically devoted to, and which used the term “Philippines” as its title, was the Insulae Philippinae of Langenes (1598), which is taken directly from the Linschoten map of 1595, with its peculiar east-west orientation of the archipelago and strange angle for Palawan. This map represents the first tolerably accurate depiction of the archipelago’s complicated shores, including Luzon, whose fine port of Manila had quickly become the center of the Spanish empire in the Indies. The only major error in the general outline of Luzon is in the winding peninsular region to the southeast, which should extend much further than is, in fact, presented.
Samar is accurately shown for the first time, labeling it on the map as both Achan, a name which is sometimes applied to the island’s northern half, and Tandola (or Tandaya), which was actually the name of a region of the island. When the Spanish expedition under Legaspi reached Samar in 1565, they asked for the island’s name, but their source — who was the nephew of the chief — simply gave the name of his uncle. The maze of islands in between Luzon and Mindanao are still only crudely represented, though the major islands in between Luzon and Mindanao are still only crudely represented, though the major islands are nonetheless depicted: Mindara (Mindoro), Panama (Panay), Cabu (Cebu), Saburna (Leyte), Negoes (Negroes), and Masbate (unnamed). On the west, as with many Iberian charts of the time, Palawan has been confused with Calamianes, a group of small islands situated between Mindoro and Paragua or Palawan.
Other names found on this map include G. de Matalahambre, on the east coast of Luzon, is the ‘gulf of killing the hunger’ where a good feast must have been had; Ancon triste (sad cove), Pintados (painted), Moro Hermoso (beautiful Moor), and C. de Engano (cape of deceit), this last term being used not infrequently by Spanish mariners.

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