Abraham Ortelius, 1575.
Map. Engraving with hand coloring. Image measures 14 3/8" x 20".
This outstanding 1575 map by Abraham Ortelius depicts the Western Hemisphere. As the first map of the Americas to appear in a modern atlas, this map is of fundamental importance. Considering that the map was issued just 78 years after Columbus discovered America, both North America and South America are well mapped, especially along the coasts.
Based on Gerard Mercators 1569 World Map, this map includes an abundance of cartographic speculation, representing the knowledge of the region during the time. The kingdom of Quivira, the supposed ancient city of gold in North America. Conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado searched for Quivira for several years to finally find it was no more than American Indian settlement of farming people. Terro del Fueggo, first reached by Magellan is here shown to be part of the large speculated continent of Terra Australis that extends westward.
Interesting annotations throughout the map include "These two islands are called the unfortunate ones by Magellan because they have neither inhabitants nor food", near the islands in the center, "Somewhere here there are islands which according to some have gold", and Patagonia shows a notation that suggests its inhabitants were giants.
It is notable for depicting Spanish and Portuguese colonies in high detail, for these powers were notoriously protective of their geographical surveys. This is the third state of the first plate engraved for Ortelius's landmark map of the New World. It is distinguished from the later plates by the unusual bulge in the western coast of South America and the positions of the ships in the Pacific. The third state is identified by the erased 230 value along the longitude grade scale at the top of the map.
The waters are ornamented with illustrations of ships and a sea monster, most notable of which is the ship in the Pacific with its sails bulging out. In later plates, the ships are different. A large title cartouche is included in the bottom left. Published in the 1575 edition of Ortelius' famous "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum," which is historically considered the first modern atlas. Based on the text on verso, only 100 copies of this particular edition were ever printed (van der Broecke 9).
Latin text on verso. Repairs to several tears lower left, abrasions, repaired hole 45 degrees S in the Atlantic Ocean, early repairs to upper left margin, but an overall pleasing copy of an important map.
Abraham Ortelius (1527--1598), a Flemish cartographer and geographer, is widely regarded as one of the important and influential cartographers in history. He is known for his "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum," which was the first modern atlas.
Condition: Very Good