Munster's Take on Ortelius' Classic Map
"Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio", Munster/Petri
Subject: Western Hemisphere - America
Period: 1614 (published)
Publication: Cosmographia Universalis…
Color: Black & White
14.3 x 12.2 inches
36.3 x 31 cm
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.
This woodcut map of the Americas is based on Abraham Ortelius' classic map of 1570. Its distinguishing features include the huge bulge in the southwest coastline of South America, the extensive western coastline of North America, and the great southern continent, here called Meridies Terra de Fuego. Because of the restrictions inherent in wood block engraving, Petri's map is somewhat more generalized. A village of Quivira and the Sierra Nevada are located in present-day California. Inland is the kingdom of Quivira with those of Anian and Tolm to the north and east. Above the map are two elongated ovals of gothic German text and a German title appears in the top margin, "Die newen Inseln so hinder Hispaniam Gegen Orient bey dem Landt Indie Gelegen." On verso is an additional similar German title with a woodcut engraving.
References: Burden #67.
A nice impression with some paper thinness along the lower centerfold. The bottom sheet edge has been backed with old paper to repair a couple of tiny edge tears and a small chip in the right corner with border replaced in facsimile.