Date: 1578 (printed circa 1730)
Dimensions: 13.5 x 18 inches (34.3 cm x 45.7 cm)
Of great elegance, this authentic hand-colored antique map of Central Asia by Gerardus Mercator, was originally published circa 1578 and continued to be published as late as 1730, using the same plates.
The names on this splendid map evoke images of legendary nations whose cultural remains and artistic accomplishments are to be found in museums such as the Hermitage, the Louvre and the British Museum. We see herdsmen with flocks of sheep and herds of horses and cattle, and caravans headed east. Known to be nomadic, the nations listed, such as Scythian, Parthian and Sogdians must have put down roots some place at some point in order to produce the fine jewelry and other ornamentation for which they are known.
The Himalayas and northern India run across the bottom of the map. The upper right quadrant is embellished by an elegant title cartouche with flourishes of cornucopia. The fanciful 'monster' in the Caspian Sea could well be a factual depiction of an enormous sturgeon whose endangered descendants yet inhabit this sea, producing another type of black gold… caviar.
Condition: This map is in B condition with toning around the borders, foxing, and some small rust spots. There is thinning of the paper at the borders and a crease at the centerfold.
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