Ortelius' Map of the Arctic with Mythical Islands
"Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip.", Ortelius, Abraham
Subject: Arctic & Scandinavia
Period: 1592 (published)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
19.3 x 14.2 inches
49 x 36.1 cm
Ortelius based this influential map on the work of earlier authorities including Mercator, Zeno and Magnus. Of particular interest are the mythical islands of Brasil, Frisland, Drogeo, Icaria, and St. Brendan. Part of Mercator's imaginary polar continent is depicted with a Latin note that it is inhabited by pygmies. Iceland (Islant, Thule) is basically unchanged from Mercator's map of Europe from 1554 with the shape originated by Zeno. Greenland is separated from Europe by a wide sea and a portion of North America appears in the upper left corner with the name Estotilant. The map is adorned with a variety of very inventive creatures including a half-man, half-sea creature playing a lute. This is the fifth state with eight place names added to the top right coastline of North Pole island. Latin text on verso.
References: Van den Broecke #160.5; Ginsberg #22; Burden #40.
Full original color on watermarked paper with several short printer's creases along the centerfold and a tiny centerfold separation in bottom blank margin. Light damp stains at bottom are primarily confined to the blank margins.