Catalog Archive
Auction 152, Lot 597

Scarce Map Published by Zacharias Heyns

"Asia", Heyns, Zacharias

Subject: Asia

Period: 1598 (published)

Publication: Le Miroir du Monde…

Color: Black & White

6.9 x 5.5 inches
17.5 x 14 cm
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This charming woodcut map presents a simplified view of the continent, with only major cities, rivers and regions noted. The southwestern tip of Nova Zemla appears just off the coast of Tartaria, reflecting the sixteenth century attempts to find a northern passage to China. This is one of the first maps to depict Korea as a peninsula, which appears with an elongated shape. Japan is shown as three separate islands, including one named Xicora. To the north of Japan is a triangular tip of North America, labeled America Pars. Remnants of a large, unnamed southern continent appear at bottom right.

The map was published in Zacharias Heyns' Le Miroir du Monde, ou Epitome du Theatre d'Abraham Ortelius. Despite the fact that Heyns included Ortelius' name in the title of the miniature atlas, none of the maps were based on Ortelius' work. The maps are extremely unusual due to several reasons. These were some of the last woodcut maps made at a time when copper-engraved maps were prevalent. Also, the engraving style is quite unique, and the maps were not based on the usual sources, such as Ortelius or Mercator. And both the engraver and the date the woodcuts were made remain a mystery. The world map was signed "I.P." and dated 1579, so a circa date of 1580 is possible for the remaining maps, but the name of the engraver has not been determined. Heyns only published one edition of Le Miroir du Monde, as the Caert-Thresoor, which appeared the same year, proved more popular. A second edition of the atlas was published in 1615 by Jan Jansson as cataloged by Koeman, although the only known copy has been missing since 1991. French text on verso.

References: Yeo #15; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #8000:334.

Condition: B+

A nice impression on watermarked paper with minor soiling. Backed in Japanese tissue to repair a few short tears in the blank margins.

Estimate: $750 - $900


Closed on 2/18/2015