Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 2

First Double Hemisphere World Map to Appear in Atlas Form

"Orbis Descriptio", Ruscelli, Girolamo

Subject: World

Period: 1574 (circa)

Publication: La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino...

Color: Hand Color

Size:
10 x 6.3 inches
25.4 x 16 cm
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This important map is the first double-hemisphere world map to appear in atlas form. It is elegantly engraved in the characteristic Italian style, adapted from the oval projection used by Gastaldi, and presented on what is known as Roger Bacon's circular projection. This projection was popularized by Ruscelli and later by Rumold Mercator. Another important feature of the map is the apocryphal bulge in South America, one of the most copied cartographic errors of the 16th century. Terra Incognita is distinctly shown as a land bridge linking Asia and North America with its coastline labeled Littus incognitum. There is no southern continent. Italian text on verso.

See also lot 830 for Rodney Shirley's excellent reference work, The Mapping of the World, which discusses this map.

References: Manasek #20; Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #220-29; Shirley #110.

Condition: B+

There is printer's ink residue and light soiling that is mostly confined to the margins.

Estimate: $900 - $1,100

Sold for: $650

Closed on 9/15/2021

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