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Abraham Ortelius: Typus Orbis Terrarum

Map: WLD3823
Cartographer: Abraham Ortelius
Title: Typus Orbis Terrarum
Date: 1588
Published: Antwerp
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 15 inches / 39 cm
Map ref: WLD3823
The intermediate second plate is the rarest of all world maps by Ortelius. It only appeared in his atlas for three years (1587-89). Superficially it bears a resemblance to the first version of his map, but the cloud border has been substantially reworked and the word "AETERNITAS" on the lower scroll is now split over two lines. In his authoritative reference work, "Ortelius Atlas Maps: An Illustrated Guide", Marcel van den Broecke clearly breaks down the publishing history of this plate; however, even within its very short lived publishing history, this example is an anomaly. Van den Broecke states that "mostly" the 1588 Spanish edition of the atlas contained the world map with a cloud border but a corrected coastline of South America. Our example bears Spanish text, the cloud border but an uncorrected coastline of South America, a combination that van den Broecke only alludes to in his work. To put it in the parlance of the book, this map would be classified as van den Broecke Map 2, State 2 but with Spanish text.