A Ptolemaic world map by German cartographer Sebastian Munster. In the Second Century A.D. Ptolemy was the librarian at Alexandria, the greatest center of learning in the ancient world. He wrote two major works, one of which, the Geographia, was the first world atlas. It consisted of Ptolemy's compilation of all known geographic information, including instructions for how to make maps. Rediscovered in the middle ages, Ptolemy's Geography had a huge impact on man's understanding of the world. Such was this influence that even in the sixteenth century, when Ptolemy's geographic conceptions were known to be wrong, maps based on his depictions were issued time and again. It even became the standard practice to issue a double set of maps of each area depicted, one according to the Ptolemaic picture and one showing the modern picture. This is one of the two world maps first issued by Munster in 1540, and its depiction of Ptolemy's world is fascinating. The then known world, the oikoumene, extends from the Pillars of Hercules to just beyond "India extra Gangen," which probably represented the Indochina peninsula. Africa is depicted as reaching down just to the equator, and then running east until it meets with Asia, creating a land-locked Indian Ocean. The decorative features of this charming woodcut are delightful. The world is surrounded by the twelve ancient winds, and the crude rivers and mole-hill mountains mark this as a sixteenth century publication. This fascinating map gives us a privileged peek at the "classical" understanding of the world. $1,600
Sebastian Munster. "Typus Orbis Universalis." From Cosmographia. Basle: H. Petri, 1550. 10 1/4 x 15. Woodcut by David Kandel. Very narrow margin at right,, as issued. A few scattered worm holes. Very good condition. Shirley: 92.
The sixteenth century was a time of phenomenally rapid expansion of European man's knowledge of the earth, in the New World, Africa and Asia. Munster's world map was issued in 1540 and this is an example of the second version which appeared first in 1550, identifiable by the inclusion of the engraver's (David Kandel) initials in the lower left. This is very similar to the first version, though the east and west winds do not protrude into the map image as on the earlier map. Munster's map is a wonderful statement of the state of cartographic knowledge in the middle of the sixteenth century. The contrast between this map and the Ptolemaic world map issued by Munster at the same time is profound. The most obvious difference if the inclusion of the New World, complete with the False Sea of Verrazano which gave expression to the desire for a westward route to the Orient. All across the map are reflections of the recent voyages of discovery. Africa, while retaining Ptolemy's depiction of the source of the Nile in the Mountains of the Moon, is shown with an approximately accurate shape, the land bridge to Asia having disappeared. The outline of Asia is also much improved, with India and Ceylon taking on more of their true proportions, and there being some indication of the many islands off southeast Asia. Though with one face turned towards the future, this map also faces the past, with its fantastic border showing the twelve winds, and numerous sea-monsters frolicking in the seas. A wonderful Renaissance artifact conveyed through a Medieval medium. $3,400
Girolamo Porro after Abraham Ortelius. "Universi Orbis Descriptio." From Giovanni Magini's Geographiae Universaetum Tum Veteris Tum Novae. Cologne: Peter Keschedt, 1597. 5 1/8 x 6 5/8. Engraving. Very good condition. Shirley: 203.
Girolamo Porro took Ortelius' popular oval projection and reduced it to octavo size for Magini's geography. There is some loss of detail, but the information is very clearly presented. The world is surrounded by six winds, and the geography of the map is quite up-to-date. The great, hypothetical southern continent is shown along the bottom of the map, and the equally mythical islands around the north pole are also indicated. Porro shows a northwest and a northeast passage, both ending in a 'strait of Anian' separating North America from Asia. A delightful example of the current understanding of the world at the end of the sixteenth century. Two misspellings on this map differentiate it from the 1596 Venice edition. In the upper left top and bottoms of the map area is "Terra Icognita" instead of "Incognita" and "Circulus Anterticus" instead of "Antarcticus" as in the earlier version. The probability is that this represents a newly engraved plate. $575
Abraham Ortelius. "Typus Orbis Terrarum." From Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Antwerp: 1608. Plate 3, state 1. 14 x 19. Engraving. Full hand color. 5" repaired tear in lower right and other minor wear in margins; some separation at centerfold. Appearance and overall condition is very good. Italian text on verso. Beautifully framed to museum standards. Shirley: 158.
One of the most famous of world maps, from Ortelius' great work, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Initially published in 1570, this volume was the first that could truly be called an "atlas" in the modern sense of a compilation of maps engraved to a uniform format according to the most up-to-date information available. The publication of the Theatrum also marked the inauguration of the era of Dutch supremacy in cartography. For these and other reasons, Ortelius is called the "father of modern cartography." This map, "Typus Orbis Terrarum," is based upon Gerard Mercator's large world map of 1569. Ortelius' atlas project had the blessing and aid of Mercator, who supplied Ortelius with coordinates of places in America. In the north, islands are shown surrounding the North Pole, and separated from America and Asia by a sea passage, the latter a popular belief in the sixteenth century. In the south, a large "Terra Australis Nondum Cognita" is drawn, separated from South America by the "Estrecho di Magallanes."
In 1587 Ortelius updated this seminal map for the third and last time. South America now assumes a more accurate shape, and the Solomon Isles are marked for the first time. The updated map is also distinctive and especially beautiful for the four medallions in the corners with classical texts, two from Cicero and two from Seneca. The border of this map is as well altered, now with a more intricate and elegant lattice of strapwork and swag. Altogether with the embellishments, rich original color and important information, one of the great world maps of all time. $9,500
Abraham Ortelius. "Typus Orbis Terrarum." From Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Antwerp: . Plate 3, state 1. 14 x 19. Engraving. Tiny hole in decorative border and trimmed to neatline around. Very good condition. Latin text on verso. Shirley: 158.
Another example of Ortelius' world map, this one uncolored. $7,800
Alexis Hubert Jaillot. "Nova Orbis Tabula./Mappe Monde ou Description Du Globe Terrestre & Aquatique." Paris: A.H. Jaillot, 1694. 19 1/4 x 24. Engraving. Original outline color. A small spot at top border and 1" x 1 1/2" replaced section at top of western hemisphere (affecting only lines of latitude and longitude). Otherwise, excellent condition. Shirley: 561.
A rare and spectacular world map by Alexis Hubert Jaillot issued near the end of the seventeenth century. This large world map is quite scarce and is one of the most decorative of the later seventeenth century. Eight large and allegorical figures surround the two hemispheres. In the four corners are figures representing the continents: Europe shown as a Queen surrounded by symbols of power and learning; America as an Indian surrounded by a monkey and parrots, with many ships shown off the horizon; Aisa holding an incense burner sitting next to a camel, and Africa as a African maid sitting under an umbrella by a pyramid and surrounded by and crocodile, lion and elephant. In the center, two at top and two at the bottom, are four virtues. Overall, then, this is a wonderful and rare example of the combination of decoration and information for which world maps of the seventeenth century are famous. $7,500
Alexis Hubert Jaillot after Nicolas Sanson. "Mappe-Monde-Geo-Hydrographique, au Description Generale du Globe Terrestre et Aquatique en Deux Plans-Hemispheres..." Paris: A. H. Jaillot, 1696. 21 1/2 x 35 1/2 (neat lines) plus full and generous margins. Engraving with outline hand coloring to map and full color to decorative elements. Fine impression. Very good condition. Framed to archival specifications.
A striking 17th-century map that shows the development of early modern cartography. Jaillot, in re-engraving and publishing the then less widely known work of his compatriot, Nicolas Sanson, brought French cartography forward to compete with the hitherto unchallenged work of the Dutch. This beautiful world map illustrates the beginnings of the precise and scientific mapping associated with the French. The decorative flourishes remain strong, but they are confined to the elaborate Baroque cartouches.
North America does not yet have the Mississippi River and tributaries (thus missing information from LaSalle of 1682), and the five Great Lakes are present but incomplete. The only English colony named is Virginia with the rest designated as regions. The major accomplishment of this map is showing the full size of the world using an equal area projection. A fine accomplishment by this French mathematician. Altogether a map of aesthetic and historic importance. $3,800
After Herman Moll. "A Map of the World on wch. Is Delineated the Voyages of Robinson Cruso." London: 1719. Engraving. 7 x 11 7/8. Some very light off-set, but very good condition.
This small world map is an unusual and scarce piece which was printed for the second volume of the first edition of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. The depiction of the world follows Moll's, though this map was likely not drawn by Moll himself. It follows the commonly understood depiction of the world, including a nice example of California as an island. What is of particular interest is the connection with Robinson Crusoe. A dotted line traces the fictitious voyage based on Alexander Selkirk's experiences during Dampier's voyage and "R. Crusoes I" can seen off the north coast of South America. $925
Johann Baptist Homann after Johann Gabriel Dopplemayr. "Basis Geographiae Recentioris Astronomica." Nuremberg: J.B. Homann, ca. 1730. Engraving. 19 x 22 1/2. Original hand color. Very good condition.
An attractive world maps drawn by Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr. Doppelmayr was a professor of mathematics in Nuremberg and he wrote on geography, astronomy, cartography, and other mathematical subjects. He was also a globe maker and was concerned with bringing scientific ideas to the growing educated public during the Enlightenment. Towards that end he collaborated with Nuremberg cartographer Johann Baptist Homann in producing a number of excellent celestial charts and diagrams. In 1702 Homann, who was appointed Geographer to the Emperor in 1715, founded a map and globe making business, which upon his death in 1724 passed on to his son, Johann Christoph Homann and then to his heirs, who traded under the name of Homann Heirs from 1730 into the nineteenth century. This firm came to dominate German cartography and the beautiful production of this world map graphically demonstrates the appeal of the firm's output. This map shows the world based on the latest astronomical observations by Dopplemayr. The focus is on the outline of the principal landmasses, including the then known parts of Australia. Of particular interest is the clear depiction of California shown as an island, a long-lasting cartographic myth which was fairly-well proven false by the time this map was issued. Along the bottom are vignette scenes of putti engages in the study of geography and astronomy. The basis of Dopplemayr's rendering was the longitudinal and latitudinal measurements of major cities around the world, and these are listed in tables at top and bottom. $1,800
Emanuel Bowen. "A New and Accurate Map of the World." From John Harris' Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotheca. or, A Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels. London, 1744. 11 1/4 x 21 1/4. Engraving. Narrow margin at left, as issued. Very good condition.
This chart of the world on an oval projection appeared in John Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, which included many accounts of explorations that could be followed by the reader on this detailed map. Bowen was careful to shown only explored parts of the world, so the northwest part of America is blank except for the label "Parts Undiscovered." The western coast of Australia, the southern outline of Tasmania, and the western coast of New Zealand, all discovered at the time, are shown, with a shade line on the eastern part of Australia showing a projected coastline there. Bowen's map is based on the records of the circumnavigations of Magellan, Drake and Anson, whose tracks are shown. A wonderful document of the state of knowledge about the world prior to Cook's voyages. $1,250
Emanuel Bowen. "A New & Correct Chart of all the Known World." From John Harris' Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotheca. or, A Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels. London, 1744. 14 3/8 x 17 7/8. Engraving. Narrow margin at top, as issued. Very good condition.
Another world map from Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, this a sea chart on the Mercator projection. Bowen adds notes throughout of land "discovered" but not fully explored. $850
Tobias Conrad Lotter after Guillaume Delisle. "Mappa Totius Mundi." Augsburg: T.C. Lotter, ca. 1770. 17 7/8 x 25 1/8. Engraving by Lotter. Full original hand color to map. Good margins. Very good condition.
A double hemisphere map by German cartographer Lotter, based on the great Frenchman Guillaume Delisle. Considerable information is given, including some explorer tracks in the Pacific (e.g. Tasman, Magellan, le Maire...). Interestingly, this must be one of the latest maps to show the mythical island of Frisland, which disappeared from most maps in the late seventeenth century. In the upper corners appear a northern and southern hemisphere map, the later without the great southern continent that had been so popular in earlier times. These hemispheres, colored in a traditional, strong German style, are set into an finely engraved framework, with a delightful baroque title cartouche. A good example of eighteenth-century German cartography. $2,600
Mr. Wauthier. The World & the Four Continents. London, 1797. Each ca. 13 x 15. Engravings. Original outline color. Some creases, but overall very good condition.
The World and the four continents, each presented in a "Plain Map or Emblematic Chart for the Geographical Game" and drawn "According to the Method of the Abbé Gaultier By Mr. Wauthier his Pupil." The maps are intended for some sort of educational "game," and so while the major political divisions and geographic features are indicated, there are no words other than those in the title cartouche. The outline of the continents, the rivers and lakes, and the borders and mountains, are shown with the best information available, and the lack of labels gives the maps a most interesting appearance. For the set, $425
Anthony Finley. "The World on Mercator's Projection." From A New General Atlas. Philadelphia: A. Finley, 1827. 8 1/2 x 11. Engraving by Young & Delleker. Full original hand-color. Full margins. Fine condition.
Anthony Finley is considered one of the leading cartographic publishers in America during the early 19th century. His copper engraved maps are noted for their crisp appearance and interesting detail. This map is typical of his work. Each continent is indicated in contrasting shades. The bright colors makes this map as attractive as it is informative. $275
"A New Map of the World on the Globular Projection." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1855. 9 3/8 x 14 1/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Outline original hand color. Full margins. A few light spots. Else, very good condition.
A fine map of the world from the mid-nineteenth century, showing the globe in a double hemisphere projection. The map is filled with myriad topographical details, including major rivers, towns, lakes, islands, as well as indications of explorations of the period. Published by the great Philadelphia firm of Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., this is a nice example of mid-nineteenth century American cartography. Overall, a fascinating historical document. $300
S.A. Mitchell Jr. "Map of the World on the Mercator Projection, Exhibiting the American Continent at its Centre." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell Jr., 1860. 14 1/8 x 17 3/4. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Very good condition.
For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases issued in 1860, and it is an excellent example of the firm's work. Towns, roads, railroads, rivers, lakes, and political and geographical boundaries are clearly marked. A fine example of American cartography, this map depicts the most current topographical information available at the time. $195
"Johnson's Map of the World on Mercator's Projection." New York: Johnson & Ward, ca. 1863. 16 3/8 x 25 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Spot just under title and in Arctic Ocean; else, very good condition.
As the industry of mapmaking grew in the United States at the mid-nineteenth century, A.J. Johnson's firm was at the forefront. Their colorful atlases kept readers up-to-date not only on westward expansion in the United States, but on border changes and shifting politics around the world. Here, growing colonialism in Africa is illustrated alongside the "unexplored region," and Europe is dominated by Prussia to the north, Austria to the east, and Turkey in the south. Alaska is still noted as "Russian Territory," and nations between the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Japan are subsumed by "Independent Tartary" and the "Chinese Empire." A fascinating historical snapshot of the world in the midst of great change from one of the leaders in American mapmaking. $175
Richard H. Laurie after John Purdy. "Laurie's Chart of the World On Mercator's Projection." Separately issued, folding map: dissected into 32 sections and mounted on linen. London: R.H. Laurie, 1870. 24 x 39 1/4. Engraving. Original outline color. Excellent condition. With original buckram cover.
A superb Victorian map of the World by Richard Holmes Laurie, "Chartseller to the Admiralty." The map was reduced by Laurie from a large world map by John Purdy, and Laurie states that this is a "New Edition: Materially Improved." Detail is impressive throughout the world, with particularly good detail of the oceans, showing the routes of various expeditions and a multitude of islands. Countries are indicated with bright hand color, giving the map a decorative appearance. $675
S. Augustus Mitchell Jr. "The World in Hemispheres. With other Projections &c. &c." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell Jr., 1872. Lithograph. Original hand-coloring. Folio; 11 1/2 x 13 1/4 including decorative border. Full margins. Very good condition.
For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases issued in 1872. It depicts as current geographical information as was available at the time. The map uses a double hemisphere projection and major topographical features are illustrated and named. Below the main map are three different perspectives on the world, and above is a chart of the length of major rivers. With its fine decorative border and nice hand coloring, this is an fine example of mid-nineteenth-century American cartography. $125
"G. Lang's Erdkarte in Merkators Projection." Leipzig: Georg Lang, 1892. Separately issued wall map; dissected into sixteen sections and mounted on linen for folding. Color cerograph. Very good condition.
A large and boldly designed map of the world by Leipzig map publisher George Lang. The focus is on political and transportation information. Each country is marked with contrasting colors, with the political spheres of the major European powers indicated by a color code in the title cartouche. Railroad lines and steam boat routes are prominently marked as are telegraph lines. Included are a number of insets of South East Asia and Africa, especially where the German colonies were located. $525
"The World upon a Globular Projection and with a Gazetteer of Information." Boston, Ottawa, New York: The Home Educator Company, 1907. 32 1/2 x 38.
Large folding map, the oval map (on a scale of 655 miles per inch) printed in color and surrounded by general information especially about the United States and Canada, plus tables, etc., comparing the finances, military strength, and the like, of the largest nation states of the time. Folded into original black boards (9 x 5 1/2). $150
"The United States in the Modern World." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., ca. 1940. Separately issued folding map: dissected into 24 sections; mounted on linen. With original buckram covers. Rivets at top edge for hanging. 37 1/2 x 56. Color cerograph. Very good condition. Ex-libra.
Obviously produced as a didactic tool, this map from the Earle McKee American History Series offers a very interesting depiction of the world as presented to American students just prior to WWII. The main map depicts the nations of the world color keyed to show national control. Shipping routes by steamship and "principal airways" are clearly indicated, with very few routes shown for the latter. A number of graphic charts are included, including one showing the amount of land controlled by different nations. The British Empire is largest, followed by the Soviet Union, France, China and then the United states. A large number of other charts are given, including national wealth, international trade, loans made since WWI, and other items of considerable interest. $175
For more information call, write, fax or e-mail to:
8441 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 242-4750 [Phone]
(215) 242-6977 [Fax]
©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated November 10, 2015