"Orbis Vetus, et Orbis Veteris Utraque Continens, Terrarumq Tractus Arcticus, et Antarcticus...", Sanson, Nicolas
Period: 1679 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
21.3 x 14.9 inches
54.1 x 37.8 cm
This handsome and very uncommon double-hemisphere world map depicts the ancient world within a contemporary outline of the world, with classical place names in the eastern hemisphere, and just a few mythical place names in the western hemisphere. The Americas are labeled Atlantis Insula Platoni. The island of California appears beneath a vast, blank, and vaguely defined northwestern landmass. The Great Lakes are open-ended, and there are spurious mountains and rivers throughout the western hemisphere. A partially delineated outline of a large Antarctic continent fills the southern hemisphere and features a quote from Marcus Manilius' Astronomica, the earliest known treatise on astrology. Australia, New Zealand, and what appears to be part of New Guinea or the Solomon Islands are also partially delineated and unnamed. French cartography from the mid-17th to mid-18th centuries ignored the findings of Dutch explorers and instead incorporated imaginary and misleading representations of Australia and New Zealand. This enduring map was published in subsequent editions of Sanson's atlas from 1665 to 1676; this is a later updated edition, which was followed by a derivative (first published 1694). Engraved by Jean Somer Pruthenus ("the Prussian").
See also lot 830 for Rodney Shirley's excellent reference work, The Mapping of the World, which discusses this map.
References: cf. Pastoureau, SANSON V A ; Shirley #400.
A nice impression with contemporary outline color on lightly toned paper with a fleur-de-lis watermark. There is a printer's crease running parallel to the centerfold at bottom, minor offsetting around the centerfold, and a few faint, unobtrusive spots.