Catalog Archive
Auction 168, Lot 7

First Double-Hemisphere World Map to Appear in Atlas Form

"Orbis Descriptio", Ruscelli, Girolamo

Subject: World

Period: 1561 (published)

Publication: La Geografia de Claudio Tolomeo Allessadrino…

Color: Hand Color

10.1 x 6.4 inches
25.7 x 16.3 cm

This important map is the first double-hemisphere world map to appear in atlas form. It is elegantly engraved in the characteristic Italian style, adapted from the oval projection used by Gastaldi, and presented on what is known as Roger Bacon's circular projection. This projection was popularized by Ruscelli and later by Rumold Mercator. Another important feature of the map is the apocryphal bulge in South America; one of the most copied cartographic errors of the 16th century. Terra Incognita is distinctly shown as a land bridge linking Asia and North America with its coastline labeled Littus incognitum. There is no southern continent. Italian text on verso. This is the first state with the plate mark extending off the top margin.

References: Shirley #110; Manasek #20.

Condition: B+

A bright sheet with a medallion watermark, some stains at bottom center, and light bleed-through of color on verso.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $400

Closed on 6/6/2018