Auction 117, Lot 66

"America noviter delineata", Merian, Matthaus

Subject: Western Hemisphere

Period: 1631 (circa)


Color: Black & White

17.4 x 13.7 inches
44.2 x 34.8 cm

This is the uncommon, larger, version of Merian's map of the Americas. Merian's bold engraving style copies the cartography of Jodocus Hondius' map of 1631. North America is depicted with a prominent Virginia and an odd New England coastline. The western coastline above California makes the continent too wide and there is only a hint of the Great Lakes. There is a large inland lake in equatorial South America. Insets of the Polar Regions are set in strapwork cartouches. The map is finely decorated with a title cartouche featuring human skulls and bones, representing the legendary cannibalism of the Americas, and the seas are teeming with ships, sea battles and fierce sea monsters.

References: Burden #235, Tooley (Amer) p. 299.

Condition: B

A truly beautiful impression on paper that has been professionally backed with Japanese tissue. A little soil in the blank margins and a faint damp stain, mostly visible on the verso.

Estimate: $2,300 - $2,500

Sold for: $1,600

Closed on 12/6/2006