Catalog Archive
Auction 132, Lot 607

"Asiae Nova Descriptio", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Asia

Period: 1575 (circa)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.8 x 14.7 inches
50.3 x 37.3 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

First state of Ortelius' important map of Asia that was the standard map of the continent for more than forty years. It is based on his wall map of 1567, which was in turn based on the work of Gastaldi and various other sources. The cordiform projection shows Asia extended too far to the east, an error propagated with Ptolemy. Japan is in a 'kite' form taken from Jesuit sources. Luzon is absent from the Philippines and the mythical lake Cayamay lacus is located in southern China. There are a great number of islands in the East Indies, but they are not well placed, due to the secrecy of voyages to the region. A portion of New Guinea and the Terrae Incognitae Australis pars is located at the right corner. The map is adorned with a large title cartouche. Latin text on the verso, from an early edition published between 1570-1575.

References: Van den Broecke #6; Walter #11-C; Yeo #5.

Condition: B+

Original color heightened with gold, with some toning and minor spots. The map has been professionally conserved with the centerfold and oxidized areas reinforced and some paper restoration in the blank margins

Estimate: $1,700 - $2,100

Sold for: $1,900

Closed on 6/2/2010