Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 3

"Modern" World Map with Portraits of Five Kings

"Tabu Nova Orbis", Fries, Lorenz

Subject: World

Period: 1535 (published)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae…

Color: Black & White

18.1 x 12.4 inches
46 x 31.5 cm
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This is one of two 'modern' world maps included in Fries' Ptolemaic atlas and one of the few early 16th century world maps available to collectors. It is a reduced version of Waldseemuller's famous Admiral's Map, concentrating on the Old World but showing parts of America at the left side. It shows the world in a combination of classical misconceptions with a few of the more recent discoveries, such as a bit of the coastline of South America along the left border. Greenland is drawn as an elongated peninsula connected to a still primitively shaped Scandinavia. Fries' adaptation presents the mountains in a different stylized manner and lacks the directional lines of the Waldseemuler plate. Decorative elements have been added including an elephant just off the coast of Greenland and portraits of five kings: Russia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Toprobana and Mursuli. It provides a fascinating view of what was known, and not known, of the world at the beginning of the Age of Discovery. The upper right corner of the border is lacking, as is the case with editions from 1525 to 1541.

References: Shirley #49; Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #209-2.

Condition: A

A nice impression on a bright sheet with just a hint of soiling.

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000

Sold for: $3,000

Closed on 6/9/2021