"Malta olim Melita Insula", Ortelius/Vrients
Period: 1601 (published)
Publication: Epitome Theatri Orteliani
Color: Hand Color
4.3 x 3.1 inches
10.9 x 7.9 cm
Charming miniature map of Malta with towns depicted with castles. The map is richly adorned with a sea monster, sailing ship, and the Apostle Paul's shipwreck depicted off the northern coastline, with two swimming survivors and several onlookers on land. Latin text on verso.
This map was published in Filips Galle's series of Epitome, which first appeared in 1588. Galle was unimpressed with the maps in the Spieghel der Wereld, and therefore gradually replaced nearly all of them through the various editions of his Epitome. The new maps had simple double-lined borders and were widely copied by others. The plates were acquired by Jan Baptist Vrients circa 1600, who published three more editions in 1601 and 1602, retouching some of the plates and replacing a few more. By the time Vrients' 1601 edition was published, only 10 of the original maps remained.
References: King (2nd Ed.) pp. 64-65 & 88-89; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #7590:331.
A nice impression with light toning and marginal soiling.