Taprobana Insula c.1540
Taprobana as shown by the German geographer, cartographer and theologian Sebastian Munster. On some maps of the period Taprobana is depicted as Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and on others as the much larger island of Sumatra. In this particular instance Taprobana has the equator running through the southern part of the island and therefore cannot represent Ceylon which lies north of the equator. The position of the equator and the location to the south-west of ‘Pars Indiae’ suggests Sumatra Island. The name, shape and position of the island in the Indian ocean is derived from an earlier world map of Ptolemy contained in a 15th century (pre-1470) manuscript and represents a vestige of the mythical islands of Ptolemy’s land-locked Indian Ocean (Mare Indicum). The cartouche contains an old Gothic text referring to Taprobana and Sumatra and the commodities available on the island including pepper, one of the major spices produced in Sumatra. The map was probably published in Münster’s Geographia Universalis in 1540.
Size image: 34 cm x 25 cm
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H 25 cm x W 34 cm
This French map of Batavia was originally published in Paris around 1750 in A.Prévost’s ‘l’Histoire générales des Voyages’ (General History of Voyages). The map shows the city and castle of Batavia with a key showing the main buildings and areas, the old Dutch castle and the old city walls.
Size: 30 cm x 23 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
This attractive map of Java and Madura by Gerard van Keulen was originally published around 1720 in part V of ‘Zee-Fakkel’, the beautiful Dutch pilot guide to navigation in the East Indies and the Malay archipelago. The map contains hundreds of soundings of the sea around Java.
This map consists of two separate sheets (framed in one frame). Available in luxury framing (small inner frames, cloth and an outer frame) or normal framing.
size images: 46 cm x 40 cm