Auction 139, Lot 642

One of the Earliest Obtainable Maps of Southeast Asia

"[Title on verso] Tabula XI Asiae", Ptolemy/Fries

Subject: Southern Asia

Period: 1535 (circa)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Geographicae…

Color: Hand Color

16.3 x 11.3 inches
41.4 x 28.7 cm

This is a slightly reduced version of Waldseemuller's Ptolemaic map drawn on the typical conical projection set in a trapezoidal frame. It illustrates the Ptolemaic concept of Malaya and Indochina, labeled India Extra Gangem or India beyond the Ganges. The map shows an oddly shaped Malaysian peninsula, labeled Aurea Chersone (Golden Peninsula) to the east of the Ganges. The Golden Peninsula was thought to be the location of Ophir, the mysterious source of Solomon’s gold. The China Sea (Sinus Magnus), with yet another completely spurious landmass, is to the east of that. The map hints at the Ptolemaic concept of a landlocked Indian Ocean, in which there are several large islands. Latin text on verso, surrounded by elaborate woodcut decorations.


Condition: A

Wide margins with expert paper repairs along centerfold and a few minor paper repairs in blank margins. Light show-through of text on verso.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500

Sold for: $900

Closed on 2/15/2012