1598 Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio
By: Abraham Ortelius
Date: 1598 (published) Antwerp
Dimensions: 19.2 x 14 inches (48.8 x 35.5 cm)
A bold and elegant, third state example of Ortelius’s map of the Americas. Originally published in 1570, the first plate of this map was based off of Gerard Mercator’s multi-sheet map of the world from 1569. Engraved by Frans Hogenberg, this became one of the most famous influential maps of the New World and the basis for a great deal of future cartography of the Americas.
This particular example was published in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum in 1598 as evident by the French text on the verso and numerous alterations and additions found throughout the image. The two most notable changes from the previous states are the addition of the Salomon Islands for the first time since their discovery in 1568 and the removal of a southwestern bulge in South America. Other additions include numerous sailing ships, the placement of C. Mendocino, Wingandekoa (the native location of an unsuccessful English colony) and decorative cartouche to North America.
Also worth noting of North America is the near convergence of the St. Lawrence and the fictional Tiguas river in the center of the continent. The Great Lakes will not make their appearance until the 1670s with the works of the French cartographer Nicolas Sanson. In the southwestern Pacific, New Guinea is shown to be completely connected to Terra Australis and ultimately Magellanica and Tierra del Fuego. A well placed, lovely rococo style title cartouche saves Ortelius from any further mapping of this misprojected and erroneous coastline.
Condition: Map is in A condition with rich, old coloring and minor professional repairs in the margins.
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