"Anglia II Nova Tabula", Munster, Sebastian
Subject: England & Wales
Period: 1540 (circa)
Color: Black & White
13.4 x 9.9 inches
34 x 25.1 cm
Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.
This early and unusual portrayal has north oriented to the left of the map. The woodblock map is filled with exaggerated topographical features with large castles denoting the cities. This map was a great improvement over previous maps of the region and showed for the first time several city names. At upper left is a key to the Latin and English place names. The flags of both England and Scotland are shown.
References: Moreland & Bannister pp. 196-7; Shirley (BI to 1650) #28.
There are a few tears in the image that have been repaired with archival materials and a couple of light spots.