Indian Ocean c.1550
Mid-16th century German map of the Indian Ocean and Asia by Sebastian Münster. This map was published in the 1550 German edition of Münster’s monumental work Cosmographia. Sumatra is designated as Taprobana, Java Major is shown below an island called Java Minor. The Pacific Ocean shows an archipelago of 7448 islands, a forerunner to the better understanding of Southeast Asia. Although largely based on Ptolemy’s work, the map incorporates some of the more recent Portuguese discoveries. The outlines of the Indian subcontinent, between the Indus and the Ganges rivers are in a recognizable form, with “Zaylon” (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) correctly shown as an island. The treatment of “Cathay” (China) is consistent with the writings of Marco Polo and other Venetian travellers.
Size image: 39 cm x 27 cm
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H 27 cm x W 39 cm
Reproduction of a rare early 17th century map of Southeast Asia and the East Indies by Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612) who bought the plates of Mercator’s Atlas in 1604 and added 37 new maps to Mercator’s original number including this beautiful map of Southeast Asia and from 1606 published enlarged editions in Latin and French. These atlases entitled Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figure, are generally known as the Mercator/Hondius series. The map shows the whole region from the Malay Peninsula to New Guinea with the Spice Islands central, and is closely modelled on Petrus Plancius’ Insulae Moluccae published in Linschoten’s Itinerario ten years earlier. The geography of the East Indian Islands is no improvement on that of Linschoten and De Bry of a decade earlier. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, it is also noteworthy for being one of the few maps to show evidence of Francis Drake’s presence in Southeast Asia during his circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80. Drake made a landfall on the southern coast of Java, probably in the vicinity of Cilacap and Hondius draws the little known southern coast as a dotted line, save for the presumed point of Drake’s supposed landing which is marked `Huc Franciscus Dra. Appulit (here Francis Drake landed).
size: 53 cm x 40 cm
Double Hemisphere Map of the World, originally published in 1744 by Emanuel Bowen (1694–1767), an English map engraver who worked for George II of England and Louis XV of France as a geographer. Allegorical decorations showing 4 women in each corner of the map representing the continents. The east coast of Australia is unknown and New Zealand is largely incomplete. Northwest coast of North America is still incomplete above the Straits of Anian.
size: 54 cm x 32 cm
Decorative map of the modern world, originaly published in Munster’s 1550 edition of Cosmographia. This is the first map to name the Pacific Ocean (Mare Pacificum). Munster is non-committal about the continuity of the only recently discovered North and South America, an unbroken Central America being implied but not clearly shown. All of North America is called Terra Florida and the west coast of America appears on the right side of the map. Though unnamed, Terra Australis is present but small. Munster adds further to the confusion over Taprobana (Ceylon or Sumatra), depicting a Sumatra-shaped Taprobana on the west side of the Indian sub-continent, and Java in position of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) off the southeast coast of India. In Africa, the legendary mountains of the moon are shown as the origin of the Nile.
Size image: 39 cm x 27 cm
Decorative Mid-18th century large German map of Batavia by Johann Baptist Homann and originally published in the Homannischer Atlas around 1747. The plan shows the city and its immediate environs, the surrounding rice fields intersected by a network of waterways, canals and outlying fortifications. A detailed lettered key identifies the buildings and sites of importance of this capital and administrative centre of the Dutch East Indies. Inset views depict the city, Rathaus and the castle, whilst below there is a full-length black and white panorama of the city from the sea embellished on each side by portraits of native Javanese figures and exotic wildlife including a leopard and a cayman.
size image: 47 cm x 40 cm