Rare First Plate of Ortelius' Important Map of Asia
"Asiae Nova Descriptio", Ortelius, Abraham
Period: 1572 (published)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
19.3 x 14.4 inches
49 x 36.6 cm
First plate of Ortelius' important map of Asia based on his wall map of 1567, which was in turn based on the work of Gastaldi and various other sources. This map was the standard map of Asia for more than forty years. The cordiform projection shows Asia extended too far to the east, an error propagated with Ptolemy. Japan is in a 'kite' form taken from Jesuit sources. Luzon is absent from the Philippines and the mythical lake Cayamay lacus is located in southern China. There are a great number of islands in the East Indies, but they are not well placed, due to the secrecy of voyages to the region. A portion of New Guinea and the Terrae Incognitae Australis pars is located at the bottom right corner. The map is adorned with a large strapwork title cartouche. French text on the verso, with evidence of a small crack forming in the plate to the right of the title cartouche.
See also lot 829 for Julie Yeo's Mapping the Continent of Asia, that discusses this map.
References: Van den Broecke #6; Walter #11-C; Yeo #5.
A crisp impression with gilt highlights on a bright sheet with a bunch of grapes watermark. There are tiny spots of foxing along the centerfold and marginal soiling.