Utrecht: Franciscus Halma.
Map. Engraving with hand coloring. Page measures 18" x 23.5".
This striking circa 1695 map issued by Gerard Mercator depicts Italy in its entirety. This Ptolemaic map includes Corsica and parts of Sardinia and Sicily. It notes important towns, cities, islands, rivers, and other topographic features. Cities and mountains are beautifully rendered in profile.
First issued by Mercator in his 1578 edition of Ptolemy's "Geographia", the map includes an ornate title cartouche and an interesting sea monster that appears to be a cross between a bird, a fish and a turtle. In good condition with minor wear and verso repair along the original centerfold. Some scuffing near borders in the lower left and right corners. Stain to lower left margin.
Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 CE) was a Roman geographer and mathematician living in Egypt, who compiled his knowledge and theories about the world's geography into one seminal work. Although his maps did not survive, his mathematical projections and location coordinates did. During the Renaissance revival of Greek and Roman works, "Geographia" was rediscovered by monks and based upon Ptolemy's detailed instructions, the maps were recreated. The first printed edition of "Geographia" with maps was published in Bologna in 1477.
Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was an accomplished mathematician, cartographer, globe maker and engraver but is best known for the Mercator Projection. Incorporating the newly accepted fact that the world is round, Mercator was able to render longitude lines consistently straight on a chart. Although this requires some distortion, it was of great use for navigators, and is historically important, as it is still the most commonly used projection today.