Rare early Ptolemaic map of India beyond the Ganges, including Ptolemy's depiction of the China Sea and Southeast Asia, with a closed Indian Ocean.
Sylvanus' 11th Map of India and Southeast Asia was a radical departure from the 15th Century editions of Ptolemy. Until Sylvanus, all printed editions of Ptolemy were based on the trapezoidal prototype maps of Nicolaus Germanus, whose mid-15th Century Cosmographia was the basis for each of the printed editions of Ptolemy's work published in the 15th Century (1477 Bologna, 1478-90 Rome, 1482-86 Ulm, and 1482 Berlingheri).
The map shows the entire region of southeast Asia with the Ganges River in the west, the "Sinae" (China) in the east, and southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and China Sea. The map appeared in Sylvanus' Claudii Ptholemaei Alexandrini liber Geographicae . . ., publish in Venice in 1511. The Sylvanus edition of Ptolemy is one of the earliest to include maps with modern geographical updates. The rich topographical style of the map is a marked deviation from earlier Ptolemy maps of the region. Sylvanus' work was also a landmark in the history of printed maps, being the first maps printed in two colors. Sylvanus printed each of his maps using two plates, with each of the map sheets in the work printed on both sides, meaning that there are halves of two different maps on the back side of this example of the map. As a result, Sylvanus' maps are very rare on the market and certain maps virtually never appear on the market, where they appeared on the verso of maps which were more heavily soughtafter by collectors.