By: Michael Mercator
Date: 1613 / Duisberg
Dimensions: 16 x 19.5 inches (40.7 x 49.5 cm)
This is an authentic antique map of the Western Hemisphere by Michael Mercator. The map is based on Rumold Mercator’s world map of 1587
This highly sought after map of the new world displays a vast amount of erroneous geographic curiosities from pole to pole. The North Pole is shown as several large islands just above a clear Northwest Passage and large inland lake in northern Canada. In America, the St. Lawrence extends far inland until its path is interrupted by a mountain range that comes from early Spanish explorations of the Southwest. Three circular inserts show various islands of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
South America displays two large bulges on the east and west coast. The western bulge would disappear by the second state of the map; however the exaggerated eastern bulge would appear in most maps for well over a century. The majority of the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by a massive landmass called “Terra Australis Nondum Cognita.” The presence of this landmass comes from a theory of counterbalance introduced by Aristotle that suggests a massive (though not yet discovered) must exist at the South Pole to counterbalance all the land in the Northern Hemisphere. Terra Australis extends north of the tropic of Capricorn and includes Terra del Fuego.
Condition: Map is in C+ condition, with two centerfold separation extending the majority of the map. The separation has been repaired on the verso and doesn’t distract much from the overall image. The map also boasts lovely original coloring.
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