Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 614

"Asiae Nova Descr:", Ortelius/Galle

Subject: Asia

Period: 1579 (published)

Publication: Le Miroir du Monde

Color: Hand Color

4.3 x 3.2 inches
10.9 x 8.1 cm

This fine miniature map is based on Ortelius' great map of Asia that was the standard map of Asia for more than forty years. Japan is in a 'kite' form taken from Jesuit sources and the islands of the East Indies are not well placed, due to the secrecy of voyages to the region. The Caspian Sea is in a simple oval shape and oriented the wrong direction. French text on verso.

This map is from the first pocket-sized atlas, Spieghel der Wereld, which was based on Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. The maps were engraved on copper by Filips Galle and represented all regions around the world. The maps were accompanied by text prepared by Peter Heyns, who used the text from the Theatrum. The numbers printed above the maps, adjacent to the letterpress title, indicate the number of the map within the Theatrum. This innovative, small atlas was designed to reach the lower middle class, and was a commercial success, prompting numerous reprints and imitations. The first edition of the Spieghel der Wereld was published in 1577, with subsequent editions published in French in 1579 and 1583, Dutch in 1583 and 1596, and Latin in 1585. One unique feature of this pocket atlas was the inclusion of 6 larger, fold-out maps of the world, Europe, France, Germania, the Low Countries and Italy that were included alongside 66 miniature maps.

References: King (2nd Ed.) pp. 60-61; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #8000:331; Yeo #7.

Condition: A

A crisp impression on a bright sheet with several small worm tracks in the blank margins and a professionally repaired chip at top right.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $180

Closed on 2/10/2021