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Friday, August 19, 2011

Rare Map Offering of the Day: " Orbis Typus Universalis Ivxta Hydrographorum Traditionem." Martin Waldseemuller (1570-1614)

Martin Waldseemuller (1470 - 1521)
Orbis Typus Universalis Ivxta Hydrographorum Traditionem
29 1.2 x 35 inches
References: Rodney W. Shirley, The Mapping of the World (London, 1983), n. 35.

In 1507 Martin Waldseemuller published the first map to name the New World "America," in acknowledgment of explorer Amerigo Vespucci's discoveries. There is only one copy of the 1507 map in existence and it is in the holdings of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. By 1513, and with the publication of this map in his Ptolemaic atlas (see n.6 above), he had recognized the real importance of Christopher Columbus. In an attempt to rectify his earlier mistake, Waldseemuller removed not only the name but also the whole North American continent from his 1513 map. In a sense it was too late, as "America" had now become the popular name for the New World. But, in this "modern" world map Waldseemuller attempted to assert Columbus' important discoveries in the western hemisphere and give the explorer the credit he deserved. Therefore, this map is sometimes called the "Admiral's Map" in view of comments made by Waldseemuller in the text (which accompanied his atlas) suggesting that information for the mapping of the New World had been supplied by Christopher Columbus.Offered at $90,000.

Substantiating this retraction is another map in the same volume. On the regional map of the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean ("Tabula Terre Nove"), South America is labeled "Terra Incognita" (unknown land) and bears an inscription indicating that these lands were discovered by Columbus, with no indication of Amerigo Vespucci's role in the exploration of the northern coast of South America. Waldseemuller extended the map southwards and westwards in order to show discoveries in Africa and the rest of the southern hemisphere by Columbus and Pedro Alvares Cabral. The map focuses on the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Isabella (Cuba) and much of the northern coast of South America and of Brazil. A vague indication of Labrador is also given. This map is also available here through Arader Galleries New York City.

Arader Galleries intends to have the lowest prices on ABE, Alibris, Biblio, AE, and Artnet while maintaining the highest levels of quality in the business for every offering. To inquire or view the complete offering, please contact our curators at info@aradernyc.com or call our 72nd Street NYC gallery at (212) 628-3668. 


Please do not hesitate to direct all comments, questions, and inquiries to grahamarader@gmail.com

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