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ORTELIUS, A[braham] (1527-1598)
[AMERICAS: Map of Western Hemisphere Titled:] Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio.
Antwerp, ca. 1571. Hand coloured copper engraved map ca. 36,5x50,5 cm (14 ½ x 20 in). Map cleaned and sized and with some expert minor repair to lower blank margin, remains of archival mounting tape on verso. Overall still a very good and attractive map. This attractive ornamental map is an impression from the first of three copperplates, without the publisher's address, second state (of three) with the Azores correctly labelled. From one of the third Latin editions, 1571-73. "Ortelius depicts the discoveries of a number of people on this map, but the general shape of the continent is derived from Gerard Mercator's great twenty-one sheet world map of the previous year. The two of them had a close relationship and shared their knowledge openly with each other.., One of the main noticeable features of the map is the bulbous Chilean coastline; this was not corrected until his third plate. A strategically placed cartouche hides a complete lack of knowledge of the southern waters of the Pacific. Once through the Strait of Magellan the voyager's sea route took him on an almost direct course for the East Indies. No sight had been made of a large continent but conventional wisdom had it that there had to be as much land in the southern hemisphere as in the northern. This was not fully dispelled until the second voyage of the remarkable Captain James Cook in 1772-75. The west coast of North America is shown too far west, as was common at the time" (Burden 39). "This is one of the most famous maps of America and one that had enormous influence on the future cartography of the New World. Frans Hogenberg engraved this map and it is primarily based on Gerard Mercator's great multi-sheet world map of 1569. The map features an exaggerated breadth of the North American continent, with a lengthy St. Lawrence River reaching across the continent to nearly meet the fictitious, westward flowing Tiguas Rio. The strategically placed title cartouche hides the unknown South Pacific and therefore most of the conjectural great southern continent, which is shown attached to both New Guinea and Tierra del Fuego" (Old World Auctions); Broecke 9.2; Koeman III, 9000: 31A; Tooley, America S. 320; Wagner 80.