Catalog Archive
Auction 142, Lot 15

Scarce Woodcut Version of Ortelius’ World Map

"Typus Orbis Terrarum", Belleforest, Francois

Subject: World

Period: 1575 (published)

Publication: La Cosmographie Universelle de Tout le Monde…

Color: Hand Color

19.6 x 13.3 inches
49.8 x 33.8 cm
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This striking world map is a woodcut copy of Ortelius' 1570 map with the same title (see Shirley #122). Placed on a cloud background, the map shows North America as much too wide and South America retains the unusual bulged southwestern coastline. At the poles, a prominent Northwest Passage snakes its way south of the four islands making up the arctic regions, and a huge Terra Australis Nondum Cognita makes up the imaginary southern continent. A notation next to New Guinea notes that it is unknown if this large island is a part of the southern continent. Belleforest has replaced Ortelius' quotation from Cicero with a French title below the map. This map was published in Belleforest's French translation of Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia. There was only one edition of Belleforest’s Cosmographie, thus the map is scarce and seldom available on the market. Instructions to the binder are included in the top left blank margin.

References: Shirley #135; Pastoureau, Belleforest #I-1, [1].

Condition: A

Issued folding, now pressed, on watermarked paper with a couple of minor spots and a hint of toning along centerfold.

Estimate: $5,500 - $6,500

Sold for: $4,000

Closed on 11/28/2012