Ptolemy/Frisius. Oceani Occidentalis Seu Terrae Novae Tabula, North America, 1522. 38 cm x 29 cm. Black and white. Excellent condition.
This is a slightly smaller version of the famous Waldseemuller map of 1513. It was published in atlases from 1522 to 1541. All editions are increasingly rare today. Given that the 1513 map is nowadays almost unobtainable, this is the first map to focus on North America that most collectors can obtain. Burden No. 4. $$$$
Abraham Ortelius. Americae Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio, 1570. First Issue! 48 cm x 36 cm. Black and white.
First state, first issue. Of extraordinary rarity thus. The Western Hemisphere as depicted by Abraham Ortelius in the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, which incorporated the most up-to-date information available. The first modern atlas map of America. In areas extensively explored by the Spaniards, the information supplied has allowed a relatively accurate portrayal: the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida peninsula, and the Caribbean basin. Notable failings include the western bulge in the area of present day Chile and the Baja Peninsula and California which are thirty degrees too far to the west. $$$$$$
Jan Jansson. America Septentrionalis, ca. 1636. 55 cm x 46 cm. Beautiful contemporary color, excellent condition.
The first folio-sized atlas map of North America to show California as an island. As such, and with the prestige of Jansson and Hondius behind it, this map became the cartographic event that impelled the trend of showing an insular California for the next century. Burden No. 245. $$$$
Willem Blaeu. Americae Nova Tabula, Ca. 1630. 55 cm x 41 cm. Full contemporary color.
One of the examples of a "carte a figures", this map served as a prototype for maps of the Western Hemisphere for over half a century. The map itself, surrounded on three sides by city views of the Americas and costumed figures of natives also reflected updated cartographical information. This is probably the most famous and decorative map of America ever published. It represents the pinnacle of Dutch cartographic supremacy. $$$$$
Sebastian Munster. Tabula Novarum Insularum, ca. 1550. 34 cm x 27 cm. Black and white.
This monumental woodcut map of the Americas, which appeared only fifty years after Columbus' voyage, is the first separate printed map of the Western Hemisphere. For the delineation of the Americas, Munster drew on the findings of Verrazano, who was sent by Francis I to explore the New World in 1529 and to find a passage to the East. The Verrazano misconception of an ocean just to west of the Carolina coast led to the near-bifurcation of the North American continent for which this map is so famous. Despite the error, the seminal importance and daring of the map cannot be denied. No other cartographer before Munster devoted a map solely to the depiction of the two American continents as a single entity. This map can truly be considered a forerunner of a series of maps over the next thirty years (Gastaldi, Medina, Ortelius, etc) that established the beginnings of American cartography and that, within a single crucial generation, culminated in maps that were essentially modern and accurate. $$$$
Abraham Ortelius. Maris Pacifici, 1589. 50 cm x 35 cm. Full contemporary color.
The first printed map of the Pacific. Acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful and decorative maps which appeared in the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, it was also one of the most important. It includes an important early depiction of the west coast of North America, Japan and New Guinea, and according to Wagner "constitutes a distinct departure, being unlike any map of the Northwest coast published before 1589". Ortelius clearly had two or more distinct sources for this map. One was Hogenberg's very rare map of the Americas, also done in 1589, which has recently been shown to be a prototype for the Maris Pacifici. However, Ortelius altered some of the nomenclature on the west coast from that given by Hogenberg, altered the Gulf of California and, most importantly, substantially reduced the east-west extent of western North America, for the first time bringing it closer to reality. Ref: Wagner, p. 73. $$$$$
Michael Mercator. America Sive India Nova, 1595. 46 cm x 37 cm. Full contemporary color.
One of the most elaborate and distinctive mappings of the Western Hemisphere, in which the central sphere focuses on the continents placed within a decorative Rococo framework. $$$$
Jodocus Hondius. America, 1606. 37.5 cm x 50 cm. Full contemporary color.
An absolutely stunning example of this monument to early cartography. This is one of a handful of the early foundation maps of North and South America. It has the famed inset of the Indians in the lower left corner, beautiful ships, sea monsters and birds. The map has an extended western coast of North America and a curious indentation on the northeast coast just above the Chesapeake Bay. Burden 150, Plate 150. $$$$
De Bry. America Sive Novus Orbis Respectu Europaeorum Inferior Globi Terrestris Pars, 1596. 39 cm x 33 cm. Black and white. Excellent condition with some slight age toning typical of this type of paper.
This map, acknowledged as one of the most beautiful early maps of America, is much sought after but seldom found, especially in good condition as in the present example, which is near-mint. A cornerstone of early American cartography. The first map of America to show the White-Le Moyne geography of Virginia and Florida. Very rare. Burden No. 91. $$$$$
Last Updated 5/3/06
Back to Main Page