Auction 124, Lot 52

"Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Western Hemisphere

Period: 1587 (dated)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19 x 14 inches
48.3 x 35.6 cm

This is one of the most famous maps of America and one that had enormous influence on the future cartography of the New World. Frans Hogenberg engraved this map and it is primarily based on Gerard Mercator's great multi-sheet world map of 1569. The map features an exaggerated breadth of the North American continent, with a lengthy St. Lawrence River reaching across the continent to nearly meet the fictitious, westward flowing Tiguas Rio. The strategically placed title cartouche hides the unknown South Pacific and therefore most of the conjectural great southern continent, which is shown attached to both New Guinea and Tierra del Fuego. This is the third state of the map showing the east-ward sailing ship above the cartouche, and the removal of the bulge on the southwestern coast of South America. Also on this state, the Solomon Islands are noted for the first time since their discovery in 1568, there is more information on the southern continent, as well as an added cartouche in North America. The native name of Wingandekoa has been added to the eastern coast, originating from an unsuccessful attempt to colonize the Outer Banks by the English. Latin text on verso and the pagination of 5, along with Indicis Promittet on the third from last line places this from a 1601 edition of the Theatrum.

References: Burden #64; Van den Broecke #11.

Condition: B+

Rich original color that has aged nicely. There is a faint damp stain in the bottom of the map that just enters past the neatline. There is an old repair on the bottom centerfold and a rust spot on the upper border that has been reinforced on the verso. A hinge remnant runs across the top paper edge.

Estimate: $5,500 - $7,000

Sold for: $5,500

Closed on 5/7/2008