Auction 140, Lot 776

Ortelius' Important Map of Southeast Asia

"Indiae Orientalis, Insularumque Adiacientium Typus", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Southeast Asia

Period: 1570 (circa)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.5 x 13.8 inches
49.5 x 35.1 cm

Ortelius' important map of Southeast Asia, based on Mercator's 1569 World map, shows how sketchy the available information was concerning the region. The East Indies are presented as a randomly scattered archipelago with Java and Borneo particularly misshapen. Taiwan is mapped for the first time as I. Fermosa in the 'tail' of kite-shaped Japan's Lequaio islands. The fictitious Chyamai lacus is the source of a network of major rivers in Southeast Asia. Beach pars, a presumed promontory of the great southern continent based on Marco Polo's account, protrudes into the bottom of the map. In the upper right corner, America makes an appearance with the three coastal cities of Quivira, Cicuie, and Tiguex. Near the shore lies a ship being menaced by a pair of sea monsters, while twin mermaids preen before each other near the Ladrone Islands. Latin text on verso, published between 1570-73.

References: Van den Broecke, #166; Suarez, pp 164-69.

Condition: B+

Lovely old color on watermarked paper with minor soiling and a professionally repaired centerfold separation that enters 1" into map at bottom. There is a tear in bottom blank margin that has been closed on verso with archival tape, and a chip at the upper right corner in the blank margin has been replaced with old paper.

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000

Sold for: $4,250

Closed on 5/23/2012