NEUW INDIA ....

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This is one of the earliest maps of the whole continent based on the recent geographical discoveries by Portuguese navigators. The Neuw in the title marks it as the earlist German text editions.

The outline of the Asian mainland is relatively well-established, but Munster omits the extreme northeast of Asia, still believed to be joined to the New World. Japan is also lacking, as it appeared on Munster's New World map instead. India appears as a peninsula and Sri Lanka, called Zalon, is correctly located. Cambay, Goa and Cannonore are all shown, reflecting the Portuguese presence on India's west coast, and this edition names Calechut, unlike the earlier examples of the map. Malacca is correctly located on the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra has inherited the name Taprobana from Sri Lanka, but also bears the name Sumatra. Java appears as two islands, Java Maior and Java Minor, shown north of the other. The famed Spice Islands of the Moluccas are located, but oddly shaped. An archipelago of 7448 islands lies off the eastern coastline of China, from the reports of Marco Polo. A huge sea monster and a fantastic two-tailed mermaid preside over the Indian Ocean.

Uncoloured as issued and in very good condition with no repairs etc.

From Cosmographiae Universalis

ref Yeo #2; Walter #8A.

code : M3178

Cartographer : Sebastian Munster

Date : 1544 Basel

Size : 25.5*34.5 cms

availability : Sold

Price : Sold

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Originally a scholar studying Hebrew, Greek and mathematics, Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) eventually specialised in mathematical geography and cartography. It was this double ability - as a classicist and mathematician - that was to prove invaluable when Munster set himself to preparing new editions of Solinus’ “Memorabilia” and Mela’s “De Situ Orbis”, two classical descriptive geographies containing maps, and his own two greatest works, the “Geographia” and “Cosmographia”. These reflect the widespread interest in classical texts, which were being rediscovered in the fifteenth century, and being disseminated in the later fifteenth and sixteenth century, through the new medium of printing.

The “Geographia” was a translation of Ptolemy’s landmark geographical text, compiled in about 150 AD., illustrated with maps based on Ptolemy’s calculations, but also, in recognition of the increased geographical awareness, contains a section of modern maps. In the first edition of the “Geographia”, Munster included 27 ancient Ptolemaic maps and 21 modern maps, printed from woodblocks. Subsequent editions of the “Cosmographia” were to contain a vast number of maps and plans.

One consequence of Munster’s work was the impetus it gave to regional mapping of Germany, but Munster was also the first cartographer to produce a set of maps of the four continents on separate maps. Most importantly, through his books (the “Geographia” and “Cosmographia” alone ran to over forty editions in six languages), Munster was responsible for diffusing the most up-to-date geographical information throughout Europe.