ca 1550 – S. Munster – Das Erst General
Title: “Das erst general, inhaltend die beschreibung und den circkel des gantzen erderichs und möres.”
Münster’s map of the World is one of the most recognized world maps of the 16th Century. This example is from the second woodblock, which includes the engraver David Kandel’s initials.
The map is richly embellished with sea monsters and 12 wind heads. The example offered here is the second edition of the map, which appeared in Munster’s ‘Cosmographia’ beginning in 1550. 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 Tapbana on the west side of the Indian subcontinent, and Java in the approximately correct size and position of Sri Lanka.
Cartographer: Sebastian Munster (1488 – 1552)
Leaf size: 26,5 x 38,0 cm
Year: ca 1550
In good condition for such an early map. Missing 7 mm at lower part of the map, short margins. Centrefold reinforced for protective reason.
This is a original antique map published ca 1550 and NOT a modern copy or reprint!