"Sumatra ein Grosse Insel / so von den Alten Geographen Taprobana Genennet Worden", Munster/Petri
Period: 1588 (circa)
Publication: Cosmographiae Universalis
Color: Black & White
14.2 x 12.1 inches
36.1 x 30.7 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.
Early, desirable map of the island of Sumatra and the southern part of Malaysia. This map is Petri's revision of the early Ptolemaic map of the same name, which confused Sumatra with the island of Ceylon. It is one of the earliest maps to focus on this region. Shown near today's Singapore on the tip of the Malay peninsula is Cingafufa. Text to the right quotes Pliny, and below is a large engraving of an elephant and his mounted handler (oddly dressed in European clothes). German title and woodcut illustration on verso.
A crisp impression with light toning along the centerfold and professional repairs to centerfold separations confined to the blank margins. There is very light soiling and a few minor creases.