Catalog Archive
Auction 109, Lot 376

"Septentrionalium Regionum Descript.", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Arctic and Scandinavia

Period: 1579 (published)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.2 x 14 inches
48.8 x 35.6 cm

A delightful and influential map of the Arctic regions and Scandinavia. Ortelius based this map on the work of earlier authorities including Mercator, Zeno and Magnus. Of particular interest are the mythical islands of Brasil, Frisland, Drogeo, Icaria, and St. Brendan. Part of Mercator's imaginary polar continent is depicted with a note that it is inhabited by pigmies. Iceland (Islant, Thule) is basically unchanged from Mercator´s map of Europe from 1554 with the shape originated by Zeno. Greenland is separated from Europe by a wide sea and a portion of North America appears in the upper left corner with the name Estotilant. The map is adorned with a variety of very inventive creatures including a half-man, half-sea creature playing a lute.

References: Burden #40; Van den Broecke #160.

Condition: B

Original color with gold highlights. Oxidation of the green color has resulted in a small crack in Greenland that has been professionally reinforced with light Japanese tissue. Small damp stain at upper right and some brown ink manuscript notations.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,250


Closed on 12/1/2004