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Laurent Fries: Orbis Typus Universalis Iuxta Hydrographorum Traditionem Exactissime Depicta

Map: WLD4402
 
Cartographer: Laurent Fries
Title: Orbis Typus Universalis Iuxta Hydrographorum Traditionem Exactissime Depicta
Date: 1525
Published: Strasbourg
Width: 19 inches / 49 cm
Height: 13 inches / 34 cm
Map ref: WLD4402
Description:
Important early map of the world, only the third printed world map to use the name 'America'.

This is the first of two modern world maps included in Laurent Fries' editions of Ptolemy's 'Geographia'. Many of the maps in Fries' atlas are derived directly from Ptolemy or reduced from larger maps published in 1507 by Martin Waldseemuller. This map, however, is almost unique in that it is attributed to Fries himself (his inititials 'L.F.' appear at the end of the title).

The shape of the world is a crude, but fascinating, fusion of the new discoveries in the Americas with classical knowledge. Britain and Scotland are two separate islands, India is still an odd double peninsula, and the traditional curved shape of Southeast Asia is still in use. Madagascar and Java Maior occupy the middle of the Indian Ocean. Across the Atlantic, however, the shape of South America is surprisingly well-represented. The islands of Hispaniola (Spagnola) and Cuba (Isabella) are the only other representatives of the New World.

Despite its geographical innacuracies, this map remains popular with collectors precisely because of its oddities. It represents, perhaps better than any other map from the period, the uncertainty of early 16th century geographers. What do you trust when new lands are being discovered which directly contradict centuries of known geography?

Strong impression. [Shirley (R.): 'The Mapping of the World' 48] [WLD4402]