Rare and Striking Pair of Hemispheres with Native Figures
"[Lot of 2 - Untitled Western & Eastern Hemispheres]", Happel, Everard Werner
Period: 1687 (circa)
Color: Black & White
11.3 x 11.6 inches
28.7 x 29.5 cm
This is a rare and unusual pair of hemisphere maps engraved by Heinrich Irsinger, an obscure German engraver from Ulm. The Western Hemisphere features California as an island with the coastline of Anian to the northeast of the island. In the South Pacific, New Zealand's western coastline is depicted as well as a group of Polynesian islands. In South America, the mythical Lago de los Xarayes is shown at the center of the continent. In the Eastern Hemisphere, East Asia is truncated in the north and Australia is partially mapped. In Africa, the Nile is shown emerging from a single large lake south of the Equator. Each sheet is decorated with evocative, somewhat naïve figures representing the natives of continents; male figures in the New World and the more traditional female figures in the Old World. According to Shirley these maps appeared in Happel's Mundus Mirabilis (1687) and Historia Moderna Europae (1692) and may have been included in other works published by Matthaeus Wagner.
References: Shirley #535A (Corrigenda and Addenda); Shirley (Map Collector #64) p. 4.
Both are on watermarked paper with a pair of small worm holes in the image at top. The Eastern Hemisphere sheet has light soiling and printer's ink residue south of Madagascar.