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Sebastian Münster:  Typus Universalis

Maps of the World

Title: Typus Universalis

Map Maker: Sebastian Münster

Place / Date: Basle / 1544 ca

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 15 x 11 inches

Condition: VG

Price: SOLD

Inventory ID: 38647


Nice example of the scarce first edition of Munster's map of the World, one of the most recognized world maps of the 16th Century.

This example is from the first woodblock, which  can be distinguished from the editions of 1550 and after, the later editions being significantly revised and including the initials of the engraver David Kandel.

The map is based upon a mix of information derived from Verrazano's explorations (1522-24), which mistook the Chesapeake for the Indian Ocean, and Cartier's voyages (1534-35) up the St. Lawrence in search of the Northwest Passage. The west coast of America appears on the right side of the map. This is also the 1st map to name the Pacific Ocean (Mare Pacificum). Munster is non-committal as to the continuity of North and South America, an unbroken Central America being implied but not clearly shown. Though unnamed, Terra Australis is present but small, only serving to form the Magellan Strait.

All of North America is called Terra Florida. Munster here adds further to the current confusion over Taprobana and Ceylon, depicting a Sumatra-shaped Taprobana on the west side of the Indian subcontinent, and Java in the approximately correct size and position of Sri Lanka. 

Condition Description: Minor soiling and some old manuscript annotations in the margins.

References: Shirley 77.

Related Categories:
Maps of the World
Maps of the World

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