Auction 173, Lot 230

"Von den Britannischen Insuln", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Britain

Period: 1614 (circa)

Publication: Cosmographey oder Beschreibung Aller Laender…

Color: Hand Color

6.6 x 9.9 inches
16.8 x 25.1 cm

Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

This charming woodblock map of Britain is based on the Mercator-Ortelius outline and focuses primarily on England and Wales as the northern part of Scotland and the western part of Ireland are cut off by the borders. The map shows an unusual Ptolemaic eastward slant to the mainland of Scotland. Only major cities are located and the topography is simplified. A small ship sails in the North Sea. German text on verso, with a portrait of James I (4.4 x 5.9").

References: cf. Shirley (BI to 1650) & (MCC-94) #122; cf. Shirley (BL Atlases) T.MUN-1a.

Condition: A

There is light soiling that is almost entirely confined to the blank margins and minor show-through of colorist's ink on verso.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $210

Closed on 6/5/2019