1550 Typus Orbis Universalis
By: Sebastian Munster
Date: 1550 (published) Basel
Dimensions: 11 x 15 inches (28 x 38 cm)
This is an authentic antique map of the world by Sebastian Munster. This is the first edition of Musters second word map, identified by the initials of engraver David Kandel in the lower left corner. This latin edition of the map was published out of Basel in 1550.
One of the most recognizable world maps of the 16th century, this map gives more of a snapshot into the understanding of the world in 1550 by the locations of the various land masses than the detail within them. Just below what appears to be a northwest passage, America (named Terra Florida) is shown nearly bisected by water and potentially attached to South America. The west coast is mapped at the edge of the eastern hemisphere with the island of Zipangri (Japan) projected just offshore.
Continuing in the southeastern hemisphere, the two mythical islands of Grisonum and Calensuan are placed in the proximity of Australia. Just south of Asia, a Sumatra-shaped Tapbana is mapped on the west side of the Indian subcontinent, and Java in the approximately correct size and position of Sri Lanka. This map is also the first to name the Pacific Ocean as Mare Pacificum located in the lower right portion of the map.
The map displays decorative characteristics of the mid-16th century as 12 named wind heads depicted within billowing clouds that surround the map. Throughout the sea, numerous marine monsters and a sailing ship fill in the empty spaces. The map presents an exceptional depiction of a vast world, largely unknown, with endless possibilities of danger, fortune, and wonder.
Condition: Map is in B+ condition, with side margins trimmed to the neat line and lovely hand coloring.
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