Rumours of a Northwest Passage from an Amsterdam Tavern
By MOXON, Joseph , 1676

Einer Kurtzer Discours von Der Schiff von der Schiff-Fahrt bey dem Nord-Pol nach Japan, China und so weiter... aus dem Englischen ins Hochdeutsche ubersetzt

Travel & Voyages
  • Author: MOXON, Joseph
  • Publication place: Hamburg
  • Publisher: Johan Naumanns and Georg Wolffs
  • Publication date: 1676.
  • Physical description: Quarto (190 by 150mm), four unnumbered leaves, engraved map, modern straight grained red morocco, title lettered in gilt to spine.
  • Inventory reference: 20160


Rare German translation of Moxon’s Brief discourse, published in London in 1674, in which he put forth the theory that the best route to Japan and China lay across the North Pole, citing evidence overheard from a Dutch sailor in an Amsterdam tavern that the seas around the Pole remain free of ice. This German edition is the second edition overall, as a second English edition did not appear until 1697. The map, which shows about three-quarters of the northern hemisphere, including Japan, is apparently a direct copy of the map that appeared in Moxon’s original pamphlet.

Rare: we are only able to trace two examples appearing at auction in the last 30 years.


  1. Bibliotheca Japonica, 397
  2. Sabin 38357.