Catalog Archive

Auction 132, Lot 400

"Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip.", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Arctic and Scandinavia

Period: 1588 (published)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.4 x 14.2 inches
49.3 x 36.1 cm

Ortelius based this influential 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 S. Brandain. Part of Mercator's imaginary polar continent is depicted with a Latin note that it is inhabited by pygmies. Iceland (Islant, Thule) is basically unchanged from MercatorĀ“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 with bird feet playing a lute. Spanish text on verso.

References: Burden #40; Ginsberg #24, state 3; Van den Broecke #160.

Condition: B+

A sharp impression with old color. A small tear in the lower left corner has been repaired. The margins have been slightly trimmed, but are still ample.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000


Closed on 6/2/2010