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Map of the world, from 1579 Latin edition of Ortelius’s atlas

[ORTELIUS, Abraham].
Typus orbis terrarum.
[Antwerp, Abraham Oretelius, letterpress text printed by Christoffel Plantin, 1579 (engraved 1570 by Frans Hogenberg)]. Engraved map of the world (40.5 x 64.5 cm) in an oval projection at a scale of about 1:80,000,000 (plate size 33.5 x 49.5 cm), with the title in a strapwork cartouche at the head, a caption in a matching cartouche at the foot, and a ship and sea monsters in the sea. Coloured by an early hand. Framed under glass (70 x 83.5 cm).
€ 7,500
Beautiful large map of the world engraved for Abraham Ortelius's 1570 Theatrum orbis terrarum, the first true world atlas. "Of fundamental importance in the history of cartography" (Van den Broeck). Ortelius (1527-1598) combined cartographic information from several earlier maps, most importantly Mercator's great wall map of 1569, used with Mercator's encouragement. Though Ortelius travelled extensively, he spent most of his life in his native Antwerp, where from 1578 he worked closely with the great printer Christoffel Plantin, who printed the letterpress text of the 1579 Latin edition of the atlas. Ortelius printed the engraved maps on the already printed sheets and published the atlas himself. The present example of his world map comes from this edition.
Like Mercator's map, the present world map shows the still theoretical Antarctica with a northern protrusion near the island of New Guinea, hinting at the still unknown Australia. The Arctic, depicted as four large islands, encouraged the futile search for a northwest passage (global warming may yet create it). Since Mercator's 1569 map (in 21 sheets) saw a limited distribution, Ortelius's map remained the principal source for Mercator's cartographic information until Mercator's posthumous atlas appeared in 1595, and many cartographers throughout Europe copied it. With Ortelius's atlas, "pre-eminence in map publishing was transferred from Italy to the Netherlands leading to over a hundred years of Dutch supremacy in all facets of cartographical production" (Shirley).
With a few very small chips and tears along the edges of the margin, some repaired, none approaching the plate edge, but still in very good condition. One of the most important and influential world maps, from a 1579 Plantin edition of the first true world atlas.
M. van den Broeck 1, state 4; Koeman & Van der Krogt 0001:31A & I:31:021, map 1; Shirley 122; for Plantin's 1579 ed(s?). of Ortelius's atlas: Voet 1817.
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Cartography & exploration  >  Atlases, Charts, Maps & Globes