Auction 129, Lot 783

"Asiae XII Tab", Ptolemy/Mercator

Subject: Sri Lanka

Period: 1605 (published)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographiae…

Color: Hand Color

14 x 13.5 inches
35.6 x 34.3 cm

For this map of Toprobana, Ptolemy drew on the accounts of travelers and sailors and though the information was secondhand and often inaccurate, it represented the most advanced account of the world's geography at that time. This map depicts the island with the typical misconceptions of the period with the island straddling the Equator and nearly divided by a ridge of mountains. A small part of India is incorrectly shown in the northeast corner of the map and a spurious coastline labeled Gangem fills the upper right corner. The stipple engraved sea contains an oriental ship and two great sea monsters. This is from the original plate without the decorative title cartouche. The cartouche at lower right identifies the location of the island and a mapmaker is perched on one of the elaborate straps.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara (Nordenskiold) #229-28.

Condition: B

There is a fold separation and small tear in the map at bottom. There is a small chip in the top margin and a couple tiny worm holes.

Estimate: $250 - $350

Sold for: $180

Closed on 9/23/2009