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Cosmographia Sive Descriptio Universi Orbis

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Cosmographia Sive Descriptio Universi Orbis : P. Apian / G. Frisius

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A fascinating and scarce early world map bound into original vellum volume with additional plates and diagrams, some with volvelles and dials supplied in facsimile. This interesting woodblock map is on a truncated cordiform (heart-shaped) projection surrounded by a vividly engraved border of windheads, mythical figures and clouds. Amongst these gargoyle images are three cadaverous heads blowing the supposedly plague-carrying southerly winds. The map is said to have been based on one, now lost, by Gemma Frisius and was published in Peter Apian's "Cosmographia ...". Three very similar woodblock versions of the map are noted, the first published in 1544, with this being the second, identified by the addition of names for Europe, England and Scotland. It is one of the earliest obtainable maps to show a complete, although very narrowed, outline for the entire New World. South America is clearly recognisable but the northern part is shown as a narrow strip of land extending north-eastwards from Mexico and labelled "Baccalearum"- a reference to the important cod-fishing industry of the north-east coast that drew so many Europeans initially to the continent. A very good example of an early and unusual map.
region: World Atlases
mapmakers: P. Apian G. Frisius
place and date of publication: Antwerp 1553-1584
medium and colour: woodblock, Uncoloured
size in mm: 230 by 160mm (9 by 6.25 inches).
ref: 37539

Price: £ 5000

 
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