Munster World Map c.1550
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
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H 27 cm x W 39 cm
Decorative map of South East Asia, India and western Oceana by Matthaus Merian, based upon William Blaeu’s India Orientalis map of the same period. Matthäus Merian was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house. He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family.
size image: 46 cm x 35 cm
The strangely shaped islands and early place names provide a fascinating early view of the region on this 450 years old map. This map of South East Asia by Girolamo Ruscelli’s edition of Ptolemy’s ‘Geographia’ was published in Venice in 1561. The crudely executed map shows some evidence of the Portugese discoveries in the early 16th century such as the location of Malacca. East of Malacca is Java Minor, south of Sumatra is Java Major. Little of the Indonesian archipelago is accurately depicted on this early map of the region. The map represents a transition from the old Ptolemaic model of the far east, based largely on the accounts of Marco Polo, and the Ortelian model based on access to the Portugese portolan charts of the area.
size image: 25 cm x 19 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