Ortelius' Important Map of Southeast Asia in Contemporary Color
"Indiae Orientalis, Insularumque Adiacientium Typus", Ortelius, Abraham
Subject: Southern & Southeast Asia
Period: 1592 (published)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
19.6 x 13.7 inches
49.8 x 34.8 cm
Ortelius' important map of Southeast Asia, based on Mercator's 1569 World map, shows how sketchy the available information was concerning the region. The East Indies are presented as a randomly scattered archipelago with Java and Borneo particularly misshapen. Taiwan is mapped for the first time as I. Fermosa in the 'tail' of kite-shaped Japan's Lequaio islands. The fictitious Chyamai lacus is the source of a network of major rivers in Southeast Asia. Beach pars, a presumed promontory of the great southern continent based on Marco Polo's account, protrudes into the bottom of the map. In the upper right corner, America makes an appearance with the three coastal cities of Quivira, Cicuie, and Tiguex. Near the shore lies a ship being menaced by a pair of sea monsters, while twin mermaids preen before each other near the Ladrone Islands, which were named by Ferdinand Magellan due to an encounter with natives on the islands who attempted to steal items off Magellan's ships. Latin text on verso with page number 102.
References: Van den Broecke #166; Suarez (SE Asia), pp. 164-69.
A nice impression with full contemporary color and later color in the blank margins, on a sheet with the crossed arrows watermark commonly found on Ortelius maps. There is light soiling, a pencil mark in the right side of the image, and archival repairs to several short cracks in the image. The blank margins have been trimmed a bit.