Ortelius' Influential Map of Japan
"Iaponiae Insulae Descriptio. Ludoico Teisera Auctore", Ortelius, Abraham
Subject: Japan & Korea
Period: 1598 (published)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Black & White
19.1 x 14 inches
48.5 x 35.6 cm
This landmark map was the first map of Japan published in a European atlas. Ortelius received the map from Ludovico Teixeira, a Portuguese Jesuit cartographer and mathematician. While Teixeira had not personally traveled to Japan, he obviously had access to Japanese sources as the map presents the first reasonably accurate and recognizable depiction of the island nation with numerous Japanese place names. Korea appears as an island tapering to a point labeled Punta dos ladrones. The map is elegantly embellished with three large galleons, two elaborate cartouches and a boldly engraved border. This influential map was to become the basis for many other cartographers' maps of Japan for more than fifty years. French text on verso with page number 108.
References: Van den Broecke #165; Walter OAG #5, plt. 19.
Watermarked paper with wide, original margins and all edges gilt. There is a hint of soiling along centerfold, faint offsetting, and several spots in the blank margins.