EUROPA PRIMA NOVA TABULA

£745

RARE

This is one of the earliest obtainable maps of the European continent. It's unusual orientation, with north at the bottom of the sheet and the Mediterranean Sea at top, also makes it one of the most interesting maps of Europe. Mountains, forests, rivers and towns fill the land and in the Atlantic Ocean there is a large sailing ship. Sebastian Munster was the first to make individual maps of each continent, and this map is from that series. This is the only edition with the latitude and longitude grid printed in the margins. Latin text and illustrations on verso.

Very good condition ..Small repair at bottom of centrefold old worm holes

Excellent hand colour

Publication: Geographia

https://www.oldworldauctions.com/catalog/lot/117/432

code : M4319

Cartographer : Sebastian Munster

Date : 1552 Basel

Size : 25.5*34 cms

availability : Available

Price : £745

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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.