Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 346

"Gemeine Beschreibung Aller Mittnaechtigen Laender/ Schweden/ Gothen/ Nordwegien/ Denmarck &c.", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Scandinavia

Period: 1578 (published)

Publication: Cosmographey oder Beschreibung Aller Länder…

Color: Hand Color

13.5 x 9.9 inches
34.3 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.

Munster based his second map of Scandinavia on Olaus Magnus' great map (1539) of Scandinavia and the North Atlantic, which was the first to correct the Ptolemaic geography of the region. It is vastly reduced and simplified with the region graphically depicted with numerous fiords and lakes. Iceland and the islands of Tyle, Fare and Hetlad are shown in the North Atlantic. The northern part of Scotland is shown with the peculiar hooked eastward extension familiar from Ptolemy’s maps. From a German edition with a title block surrounded with a woodblock engraving on verso.

References: Ginsberg #12; Shirley (BL Atlases) T.MUN-1k #19.

Condition: A

A nice impression on a bright sheet with minor archival repairs along the centerfold and a hint of soiling.

Estimate: $800 - $950

Sold for: $750

Closed on 6/9/2021