Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 613

Rare First Plate of Ortelius' Important Map of Asia in Contemporary Color

"Asiae Nova Descriptio", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Asia

Period: 1570 (circa)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

Size:
19.6 x 14.6 inches
49.8 x 37.1 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. Latin text on the verso, published between 1570-71.

References: Van den Broecke #6; Walter #11-C; Yeo #5.

Condition: B

Full contemporary color on a sheet with a small coat of arms watermark. There is light soiling and toning. There are professional repairs to some small worm holes adjacent to the centerfold at top, and to a long but narrow worm track along the centerfold also at top. The margins have been extended with period-correct paper at top and bottom to accommodate framing.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,700

Sold for: $900

Closed on 2/10/2021

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