A Map of the World

  • Author: Gerardus Mercator
  • Date: 1620
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Inches: 23" x 30 1/2"
  • Centimeters: 58.42 x 77.47
  • Price: Price on Request

ORBIS TERRAE COMPENDIOSA DESCRIPTIO, From Atlas sive Cormographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura, Mercator's heirs, 1602.

Gerardus Mercator's great world map of 1569 was condensed into double hemispherical form by his son Rumold. It first appeared in Isaac Casaubon's edition of Strabo's Geographia published in Geneva in 1587 with columns of text beneath the map. Later Rumold's map was incorporated into editions of Mercator's long-lived and influential Atlas from 1595 onwards.

Mercator was the first to make a distinction between North America and South America. The engraving is a model of clarity and neatness, with typical cursive flourishes to the lettering of the sea names. Surrounding the hemispheres is a strapwork border. Between them at the top is an armillary sphere and at the bottom an elaborate compass rose.

Rodney W. Shirley, The Mapping of the World.
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