Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Art of maps: John Speed: Asia with the Islands adioyning described, the atire of the people, & Townes of importance, all of them newly augmented . . . 1626

Old Maps John Speed Asia with the Islands adioyning described 1626
Asia with the Islands adioyning described, the atire of the people, & Townes of importance, all of them newly augmented . . . 1626
Map Maker: John Speed Place

Date: London / 1676

Coloring: Hand Colored             Size: 20 x 15 inches                Condition: VG


Striking example of Speed's map of Asia, decorated with 10 costumed figures and 8 town plans of important early Asian cities (Candy, Goa, Damascus, Jerusalem, Orumus, Bantam, Aden and Macao). Korea is shown as a slender oddly projected Peninsula.

The Great Wall of China is shown, along with and Elephant above the source of the Ganges. A nice simple/naïve Northeast passage is shown, along with a piece of North America and sea monsters in the extreme North Pacific and Southern Indian Sea. The text on the verso presents a fascinating Anglocentric view of Asia in the early 17th Century.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Art of Maps: Map of America from Atlas sive Cosmographicae by Gerardus Mercator (1595)

America From Mercator 41 page
Atlas sive Cosmographicae by Gerardus Mercator (1595)

The Fleming Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) is rightfully regarded as the most important scientific cartographer of the Renaissance. With two contemporaries, the geographer Abraham Ortelius and the printer and publisher Christoffel Plantijn,he is considered the father of commercial cartography in the Netherlands.Even during his lifetime his maps, globes and atlases found their way all over the world.Mercator established his reputation mainly through his new projection method. The meridians and parallels are positioned at right angles to each other.If the distances between the meridians are equal, they progressively become larger between the parallels from the equator to the poles.This is why the latitude becomes wider the closer you get to one of the poles and why the part of the Earth in the upper latitudes exhibits excessive proportions.The advantage of this method was the far greater degree of certainty and accuracy in determining shipping routes.In 1585, Mercator published the first three parts of his own book of maps in one volume,which he called Atlas.The second edition appeared in 1589, with the addition of a fourth part. The first complete edition was compiled by his heirs in 1595 one year after his death.Walter Ghim,mayor of Duisburg the city where Mercator had lived for a long time,wrote the accompanying Mercator biography.It was the first time that a book of maps was referred to as an Atlas.Commercially speaking,however,the Atlas was not a success thanks to formidable competition from the Theatrum orbis terrarum by Abraham Ortelius,published in 1570,which by the end of the century had been reprinted more than twenty times.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Art of Maps:Johann Baptiste Homann [California as an Island]

Johann Baptiste Homann - Totius Americae Septentrionalis
Johann Baptiste Homann - Title: Totius Americae Septentrionalis et Meridionalis Novissima Representatio . . . [California as an Island]

Map Maker: Johann Baptiste Homann
Place / Date: Nuremberg / 1710
Coloring: Hand Colored
Size: 22.5 x 19 inches
Condition: VG
Price: $1,800.00


Striking dark impression of the first edition JB Homann's map of America, showing California as an Island on the second Sanson model and pre-datingHomann's privilege.

The Straits of Anian are shown forming a Northwest Passage between California and the mythical Terra Esonis, which forms a nearly continuous land bridge from the Northwest to Asia. The Pays de Moozemleck is shown east of the Straits of Anian. This landmark remains virtually unchanged through all of Homann's maps of America, despite the transition to a peninsular California, resulting in an odd change from a coastal to an apparently landlocked position for this landmark.

The Great Lakes are shown with some detail. The Mississippi River shows the results of the early French Jesuit explorations, with its sources extending far North of the limits of the maps produced 20 and 30 years earlier, although Le Moyne's mythical lake in the Southeastern US remains. The title cartouche is based upon De Fer's landmark map of 1699. The top cartouche is based upon De L'Isle's 1703 map of Canada.

Fine dark impression, reflecting a very early pull fom the copperplate.

Condition Description: Old Color. Minor fold split at bottom centerfold and minor tear to the left of the fold, repaired on verso.

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