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Sebastian Münster:  (Unrecorded Variant of the First Map of the American Continent) Die Neuwen Inseln / So hinder Hispanien gegen Orient / ven dem landt indie ligen

Maps of America

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Title: (Unrecorded Variant of the First Map of the American Continent) Die Neuwen Inseln / So hinder Hispanien gegen Orient / ven dem landt indie ligen

Map Maker: Sebastian Münster

Place / Date: Basel / 1572 ca

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 13.5 x 10 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $6,400.00

Inventory ID: 43428


Nice example of an unrecorded variant of the 1572 edition of Munster's map of America.

Munster's map of America is the earliest map to show all of North and South America in a true continental form. The first edition of the map appeared in Munster's Geographia, first published in 1540. However, it was the map's inclusion in the 1544 edition of Munster's Cosmographia that forever caused America to be the name of the New World, perpetuating Waldseemuller's choice of names in a popular and widely disseminated work. 

Munster's map is the earliest map to show all of the continent of America and the first to name the Pacific Ocean (Mare Pacificum).  The depiction of North America is dominated by one of the most dramatic geographic misconceptions to be found on early maps—the so-called Sea of Verrazzano. The Pacific cuts deeply into North America so that the part of the coastline at this point is a narrow isthmus between two oceans. This was the result of Verrazzano mistaking the waters to the west of the Outer Banks, the long barrier islands along North Carolina, as the Pacific. The division of the New World between Spain and Portugal Spain and Portugal, is recognized on the map by the Castille and Leon flag planted in Puerto Rico, here called Sciana.

The map includes a host of firsts, too many to include in this description. It includes a very early appearance of the Straits of Magellan, along with his ship Victoria, in the Pacific, and the earliest appearance of Japan on a map, predating European contact and based solely on legends, such as Marco Polo. Mare Pacificum appears on a map for the first time, and the Yucatan Peninsula is shown as an Island. Lake Temistan (unnamed in this state of the map) empties into the Caribbean. The mis-information provided by Verazanno is perpetuated. The map depicts cannibals in South America and names Florida. 

The present edition conforms generally to the 1572 German edition of Munster's Cosmographia, but also incorporates the place name "maho" above Temistan, a variant not described by Burden prior to the discovery of this variant state in 2015.  This would seem to be a variant on the name Chamaho, which appears on the 1569 map, before the re-addition of the word Temistan to the map.

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Maps of America
Maps of America