Catalog Archive

Auction 164, Lot 677

Ortelius' Influential Map of Japan

"Iaponiae Insulae Descriptio. Ludoico Teisera Auctore", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Japan & Korea

Period: 1595 (dated)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

Size:
19 x 13.9 inches
48.3 x 35.3 cm
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This landmark map was the first map of Japan published in a European atlas. Ortelius received the map from Ludovico Teixeira, a Portuguese Jesuit cartographer and mathematician. While Teixeira had not personally traveled to Japan, he obviously had access to Japanese sources as the map presents the first reasonably accurate and recognizable depiction of the island nation with numerous Japanese place names. Korea appears as an island tapering to a point labeled Punta dos ladrones. The map is elegantly embellished with three large galleons, two elaborate cartouches, and a boldly engraved border. This influential map was to become the basis for many other cartographers' maps of Japan for more than fifty years. Latin text on verso, published between 1595-1601.

References: Van den Broecke #165; Walter OAG #5, plt. 19.

Condition: A

A nice impression on paper with Ortelius' common crossed arrows watermark. There is minor color offsetting and marginal soiling.

Estimate: $2,300 - $2,750

Sold for: $1,800

Closed on 9/13/2017

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