1550 Tabula Novarum Insularum quas Diversis Respectibus Occidentales & Indianas uocant
By: Sebastian Munster
Date: 1550 (published) Basle
Dimensions: 10.5 x 13.5 inches (26.7 cm x 33 cm)
This is an authentic, antique map of the Western Hemisphere showing North and South America connected as true continents. The map was published out of Basel as part of Sebastian Munster’s Geographia in 1550.
This early edition of Munster’s map is the earliest known map to focus on all of America and the first to officially name the Pacific Ocean “Mare Pacificum.” North America is shown nearly bisected by the Sea of Verrazzano, which was the result of Verrazzano mistaking the waters west of the Outer Banks along North Carolina as the Pacific Ocean. The earliest appearance of Japan (Zipangri) shows the island positioned just west of North America with an archipelago and Pacific Ocean whose size is severely underestimated. The Yucatan Peninsula is depicted as an island (Iukatana) and Puerto Rico (named Sciana) is marked with the Castile and Leon flag of Spain.
South America displays a large western and eastern bulge, in which Cannibals are noted with a vignette of a severed limb outside of some bushes. Cannibals would be noted in the area of Brazil for well over 100 years after this map was published. A very early appearance of the Strait of Magellan is noted between the southern tip of South America and a large landmass (Tierra del Fuego), which for about 80 years after this map would regarded as the great southern continent, commonly labeled “Magallanica or Terra Australis.” In the southern Pacific, a large vignette of Magellan’s Ship floats with sails up.
Ref: Burden #12.
Condition: This map is in B condition with a small hole above the title in the upper margin and spotting along the centerfold.
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