Auction 127, Lot 11

"Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio…", Mercator, Rumold

Subject: World

Period: 1587 (dated)

Publication: Atlas Sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica…

Color: Hand Color

20.5 x 11.3 inches
52.1 x 28.7 cm

This beautiful double hemisphere map is surrounded in an elaborate strap work border with an armillary sphere and a 32-point compass rose tucked between the hemispheres. Rumold Mercator based this map on his father's great world map of 1569. The North Pole is depicted as a landmass surrounding a sea from which four rivers radiate and there is a well depicted Northwest Passage. The huge Terra Australis is shown as a part of Tierra del Fuego, and the lands of Lucach, Maletur and Beach are noted along the coast in the vicinity of present day Australia from the travels of Marco Polo. A second Java (Iava Minor) is located at a considerable distance from the rest of the East Indies. Japan is shown in a kite-shaped configuration, with the fictitious Satyrorum insule (Satyr's Island) shown above. South America has a bulge on its southwest coast, and New Guinea is depicted in a large, circular configuration. The map embodies many ancient authorities and is a wonderful view of classical cartography. Cracks in the copper plate are visible in the title, indicating a later publication circa 1619. French text on verso.

References: Shirley #157; Portinaro & Knirsch XLVIII; Suarez (Veil) #31, plt. XI.

Condition: A

There is a light abrasion of the original color in the compass rose and a minor extraneous crease. The bottom right corner of the blank margin has paper restored, well away from the map.

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

Sold for: $4,500

Closed on 2/25/2009