Rare first edition of the Ulm Ptolemy map the Adriatic and the Balkans, one of the earliest and most sought after of all maps of the region.
The 1482 Ulm edition of Ptolemy's Geographia was the first edition printed north of the Alps map and the first to appear in color which was applied by the publisher. The 1482 Ulm edition of the Geographia was one of the most important cartographic texts of the early Renaissance and the first edition of the work to be printed outside Italy. The text for this edition was a manuscript translated into Latin by Jacobus Angeli and edited by Nicolaus Germanus that had been brought to Ulm from Rome in 1468. The Ulm Ptolemy was first published in 1482 by Lienhart Holle, the same year as Berlingheri's Florence edition. Ashley Baynton Williams notes:
Working independently of Berlinghieri, but apparently using the same or similar models, Holle also added modern maps of Spain, France, Italy and Palestine, but also the first printed map of Scandinavia, composed by Cornelius Clavus, circa 1425-7 . Holle's maps were printed from woodcuts, and are characterised by heavy wash colouring for the sea areas, typically a rich blue for the 1482 edition, and an ochre for the 1486 edition. These bright colours, and the greater sense of age that woodcuts convey, make this series the most visually appealing of the [Ptolemeic] maps.
Holle went bankrupt shortly after the original publication and the work was taken over by Johann Reger, who issued a second edition in 1486.
As noted by Baynton Williams, the first edition can be distinguished from the second edition by the use of the blue wash color in the ocean, whereas the second edition employed a brown wash in the ocean. The appropriate blue is this lighter colored blue wash seen on the present map and can be distinguished from later colored examples which frequently apply a much darker blue, in order to mask the prior brown color.
The present example is quite extraordinary, as it also includes some early manuscript additions and several manuscript place names north of the Danube River.