By: Petrus Apianus
Date: 1553 / 1584 (published) Antwerp
Dimensions: 7.5 x 10.8 inches (19 x 27.4 cm)
This spectacular 16th century world map comes from the rare 1584 French edition of Cosmographia by Petrus Apianus. It is identified as such by its French title, and the letter "K" that appears at lower right.
The map displays early European knowledge of the world in a truncated cordiform projection. Much of the geographic information that makes up the map was based on a larger map of the world by Gemma Frisus, published in 1540, which has since been lost. The main differences from this second block example to the previous first block are the additions of Anglia and Scotia, and the word Europe has been leveled out.
Throughout much of the map, a lack of geographic detail is replaced by place names, and numerous vignettes of animals and natives. North America appears as an elongated peninsula that bears the title Baccalearium, which is a reference to the exceptional cod fishing off the north Atlantic coast of the new world first discovered by the Portuguese and then exploited by several other European powers in the centuries to follow. Just below is one of the earliest depictions of a Yucatan peninsula (as opposed to an island). South America features a vignette of natives with reference to their cannibalistic means of survival. The oceans are embellished with sailing ships and sea monsters.
The map displays an exceptional amount of decorative and allegorical detail. Atop are two deistic figures, one of which are wearing armor bearing the holy Roman double eagle and are believed to be a dedication to Emperor Charles V. The border is made up of constellations (right) and levels of climate (left). Surrounding the map, within a web of clouds are twelve wind-heads, three of which are presented with a cadaverous appearance, representing the southern winds believed to carry the plague.
Condition: Map is in A condition, with full margins on three sides and a nice impression. Some faint browning of the paper is apparent along some margins as a result of years in matting.
Inventory # 12597
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