Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 707

"Tabula Asiae IX", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iran

Period: 1571 (circa)

Publication: Strabonis Rerum Geographicarum

Color: Hand Color

13.4 x 9.9 inches
34 x 25.1 cm
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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.

A woodblock Ptolemaic map covering most of present-day Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the delta of the Indus River graphically depicted. Rope-like mountain ranges divide the regions and the major cities are shown in castle form. The names of the cities are also noted in a text box at the lower right. Latin text on verso. This map was first published in Munster's Geographia in 1540. This example was published in Henri Petri's Strabonis Rerum Geographicarum, which included Munster's Ptolemaic maps, some with updated titles.


Condition: A

A sharp impression on a bright sheet with four small worm holes in the image at bottom, a small hole in the top blank margin, and faint damp stains confined to the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $275 - $350


Closed on 4/28/2021