Maps, Ships and Architecture

16th Century

ORBIS TYPVS VNIVERSALIS IVXTA

ORBIS TYPVS VNIVERSALIS IVXTA

ORBIS TYPVS VNIVERSALIS IVXTA

By Martin Waldseemüeller
1507 Map is reproduction. Circa 1900
First time word “America” appeared on a map.
Dimensions: 22½” x 17”

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TABVLA MODERNA PRIME PARTIS APHRICÆ

TABVLA MODERNA PRIME PARTIS APHRICÆ

 By Martin Waldsemüller
1513
Dimensions: 17” x 24”

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MARTIN WALDSEMÜLLER
TABULA TERRE NOVE, 1525

Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Waldsemüller was the man who named America by mistake.  In 1507, he produced a series of maps which included those based on “The Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci.”  There was a great clamor by other, more astute cartographers, who knew of Columbus’ voyages, to name the New World “Columbia”, but Waldsemüller had already printed a thousand maps bearing the name “America”, and that name stuck in the public mind.  Waldsemüller was ignorant of Columbus’ discovery and resolutely justified his actions with the explanation:

“Inasmuch as both Europe and Asia received their names from women, I see no reason why any one should justly object to calling this part Amerige, i.e., the land of Amerigo, or America, after Amerigo, its discoverer, a man of great ability.”

Waldsemüller compounded his error by naming all three portions of the Western Hemisphere with the same name, causing infinite semantic distress to its inheritors.  Nonetheless, he was one of the first to sound the death knoll for the Ptolemaic system by publishing twenty additional maps incorporating new discoveries.  This 1525 map was probably the earliest influential printed delineation of the Gulf of Mexico and long represented to scholars the best and earliest state of knowledge of the New World.  Waldsemüller inserted the statement: “This land with the adjoining islands was discovered by Columbus the Genoise under the authority of the King of Castile.”  Because of this recognition and the possibility that he had documents aattributed to Columbus, this map was frequently referred to as the “Admiral’s Map.”

TABULA TERRE NOVE, 1525

TABULA TERRE NOVE, 1525

Woodblock; 37 x 44.5 cm (14½ x 17½ in)
Published in: Claudius Ptolemy, Geographie opus novissima Traductione e Grecorum
archetypes castigatissme Pressum
… (Strasbourg, second edition, 1525)

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Brasil, Terra Non Descoperta, 1540

Brasil, Terra Non Descoperta, 1540

 Terra Non Descoperta
Possibly by Martin Waldessmueller
Circa 1540
Dimensions: 10½” x 15”
Black and White (Lots of ships and other figures: fish, Indians and buildings)

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SEBASTIAN MÜNSTER
DIE NEUWEN INSELN SO HINDER HISPANIER GEGEN
ORIENT BEH DEM LAND INDIE LIGEN.

(THE NEW ISLANDS…), 1544-1550

German Cartographer, Sebastian Münster

German Cartographer, Sebastian Münster

Münster was born in Hessen in 1489 and settled in Basel (in present-day Switzerland) early in the sixteenth century.  He eventually succeeded Martin Waldsemüller (see 1525) as the foremost German geographer.  He was the driving force behind the publication of a new edition of Ptolemy.  This map of the New World was first published in his 1538 edition of Solinus, and in his Cosmographiae Universalis (Basel, 1540).  It presents a remarkably advanced outline of the American continents, less than 50 years after Columbus’ first voyage.  He depicts the continents as one land mass, but incorrectly shows Yucatan as an island.  Its graphic illustration of cannibalism reveals how little was known of the New World, particularly of Jacques Cartier’s New France.  South America bears the large title, “The New World.”  A large inland sea is depicted in North America because Verrazzano reported a great sea when he looked across the Outer Banks of present-day North Carolina and saw a large body of water.  This map also indicates a northwest passage by sea that was doggedly championed by Mercator (see 1610).  This is the first separate map ever published of the Western Hemisphere, showing both continents.  Münster was also the first to introduce a separate map for each of the four separate continents then known.  This is an excellent example of the Woodblock process, shortly before it was supplanted by copper-plate engraving.  It employs the common technique of supplying the place names by means of metal types inserted into the wood block, providing for the interchangeable names and languages.

THE NEW ISLANDS, 1544-1550

THE NEW ISLANDS, 1544-1550

Woodblock; Dimensions: 30 ½ x 38 cm (12 x 15 in)
Published by Henrich Petri (Basel, 1544-1550)

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 GIACOMO GASTALDI
NUEVA HISPANIA TABULA NOVA, 1548

Gastaldi was a Piedmontese cartographer-publisher who was appointed cosmographer to the Republic of Venice.  He published many maps including the important ameded edition of Ptolemy from which this map is taken.  He was perhaps the best Italian cartographer of the sixteenth century.  He was the first to posit the Bering Straits (Straits of Anian) in 1562.  In this work, closely following Münster, he abandoned the woodcut and started to engrave on copper, producing the first set of engraved Ptolemy maps since 1508.  After 1548, no edition of the Geographia was printed by woodblock, and the transition to engraving was complete.  This edition was the most important Italian atlas of the century, and this is the first separate map of the Gulf Coast, Mexico and the present-day southwestern United States ever published.
NUEVA HISPANIA TABULA NOVA, 1548

NUEVA HISPANIA TABULA NOVA, 1548

Engraving; Dimensions: 16½ x 20.3 cm (6 ½ x 8 in)
Published in La Geographia, from Claudius Ptolemy: Nicolo Bascarini (Venice, 1548)
Two volumes in one; 60 maps; small octavo bound in full vellum.

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 AMERICÆSIVENO VI ORBIS, NOVA DESCRIPIO

AMERICÆSIVENO VI ORBIS, NOVA DESCRIPIO

Die Newen Infeln Fo Binder Hispania Gegen Oriente / Ben Dem Landt Indie Gelegen
By Sebastian Münster
Circa 1550
Dimensions: 14” x 18”

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GIROLAMO RUSCELLI
NUEVA HISPANIA TABULA NOVA, 1561

Thirteen years after Gastaldi published the map above, Ruscelli enlarged upon the previous edition, adding important innovations.  The map of New Spain was significantly improved, correctly showing Yucatan as a peninsula, not an island.  The place names along the upper GulfCoast revealed the explorations of Piñeda, Cabeza de Vaca and Moscoso.  The Mississippi is carefully depicted as the “Rio de Spirito Santo” and the mythical City of Gold, Cibola (“Ciuola”), is shown.  This is the first map to show Yucatan as a peninsula.
NUEVA HISPANIA TABULA NOVA, 1561

NUEVA HISPANIA TABULA NOVA, 1561

Engraving; Dimensions: 22½ x 30.9 cm (9 x 12 in)
Published in Claudius Ptolemy, La Geographia… (Venice, 1561)

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ABRAHAM ORTELIUS (ABRAM ORTELS)
AMERICAE SIVE NOVI ORBIS, NOVA DESCRIPTO, 1579

ABRAHAM ORTELIUS

ABRAHAM ORTELIUS

Although he began as a map colorist, Ortelius was primarily an Antwerp businessman who conceived the idea of assembling the best available maps of the time, reworking them into a standard size and format, and re-issuing them as one new atlas.  He recognized that the nearly 80 years of new discoveries since Columbus had rendered Ptolemy obsolete, and styled his new production as “the first modern atlas,” which immediately won an enormous popularity and new public perspective.  The Flemish and Dutch schools were dominated from the 1560’s by Gerard Mercator, the greatest geographer, and Ortelius, the expert cartographic editor.  This engraving rests largely on Mercator’s world map of 1569 and the entire North American continent is indefinitely divided between New Spain on the west and New France on the east.  Its immediate influence was recognized in 1573 when Ortelius was named Geographer to his Majesty, King Phillip II, of Spain.  This same map, in the second edition of the Theatrum, was corrected to show a revised profile of South America.

AMERICAE SIVE NOVI ORBIS, NOVA DESCRIPTO, 1579

AMERICAE SIVE NOVI ORBIS, NOVA DESCRIPTO, 1579

Engraving; Dimensions: 36 x 50 cm (14 x 19½ in)
Published in Abraham Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570-1612).
Engraved by Frans Honegberg

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ABRAHAM ORTELIUS (ABRAM ORTELS)
LA FLORIDA.  PERUVIAE AURIFERAE REGIONIA TYPUS.
GUASTECAN REG
., 1584

This is the first printed map exclusively depicting the southwestern United Sates, the first to show interior details and to incorporate new discoveries by Hernando de   Soto.  It is a primary source mother document of the first magnitude which had a greater and longer-lasting influence on European cartographers than any other.  The author, Chiaves, was Royal Cosmographer to Phillip II of Spain (the originator of the Spanish Armada) who unsuccessfully, through Hernando de Soto, tried to establish a Vice-royalty in Florida.  Ortelius credits Chiaves with the information on this map as taken from the survivors of de Soto’s expedition.  The map shows the three areas of primary importance to Spain: Florida to show the area where ships would pick up the Gulf Stream to propel them back to Europe; Peru, the source for gold and silver mines; and “Guastica,” the east coast of Mexico where treasure ships plied.  Chiaves picked up de Soto’s information about 1544 and died in 1574, so he drew this map at least ten years before it was published by Ortelius.
GUASTECAN REG., 1584

GUASTECAN REG., 1584

Engraving; Dimensions: 44½ x 54.6 cm (17½ x 21½ in)
Published in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, A. Ortelius (Amsterdam, 1584, third edition)
Drawing by Hierónimo or Gerónimo de Chiaves (Chaves)

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ABRAHAM ORTELIUS (ABRAM ORTELS)
MARIS PACIFICI (QUOD VULGO MAR DEL ZUR) CUM
REGIONIBUS CIRCUMIACENTIBUS INSULISQUE IN EODEM
PASSIM SPARSIS NOVISSIMA DESCRIPTIO
, 1590

This map reflects the fact that the New World is now “settled,” and the hearts and minds of Dutch cartographers are captivated by the Pacific explorations of Ferdinand Magellan (1519-1522) and Sir Francis Drake (1572-1577).  This is the first map drawn specifically to depict the Pacific and contains a new “turtle” shape for Japan, showing the influence of Vaz Dourado, as well as the newly discovered Solomon Islands.  The fort at the Strait of Magellan is shown which was erected to prevent Drake’s entry into the Pacific, forcing him to portage across the Isthmus of Panama.  This map has some of the most elaborate mannerist ornamentation to appear on an Ortelius map, with two highly decorative cartouches balancing the continents.  The large ship is Magellan’s Victoria, circumnavigating the globe.  A whole new aspect of the northwest coast of America is presented, all of the earlier Niza and Coronado names being discarded while a completely new set of names was used along this seacoast.  Their origin is still a mystery.  This is also one of the earliest maps to discard the rhumb directional lines of the compass rose in favor of meridians and parallels that form a network of squares.  This improved navigational method of plotting courses became a standard in mapmaking.
PASSIM SPARSIS NOVISSIMA DESCRIPTIO, 1590

PASSIM SPARSIS NOVISSIMA DESCRIPTIO, 1590

Engraving; Dimensions: 40.6 x 54.6 cm (16 x 21½ in)
Published by A. Ortelius (Antwerp, 1590)

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MICHAEL MERCATOR
AMERICA SIVE INDIA NOVA AD MAGNAE GERARDI
MERCATORIA AUI UNIVERSALIS IMITATIONEM IN COMPENDIUM REDACTA
, 1595

This map was drawn by Michael Mercator under his grandfather’s watchful eye.  It reflects the latest information from French, Spanish and Dutch expeditions to the New World.  Numerous descriptive legends appear in the Arctic and South Pacific.  Mercator’s grandfather, Gerard, is considered to be the greatest name in geographical science after Ptolemy (see 1610).  He produced his first world map in 1538 that was much admired and copied, but was overshadowed by his enormous 18-sheet map of 1569.  His longest-lasting contribution to cartography is the so-called “Mercator Projection,” his method of cylindrical projection to pay out the globe’s surface on a flay piece of paper, first used in 1569.  It has been the projection taught to millions of people for over 400 years, and is only now being threatened by the equal-area Peters Projection.
UNIVERSALIS IMITATIONEM IN COMPENDIUM REDACTA, 1595

UNIVERSALIS IMITATIONEM IN COMPENDIUM REDACTA, 1595

Engraving; 42 x 55.9 cm (16½ x 22 in)
Published by Jodocus Hondius for Gerard and Michael Mercator (Amsterdam, 1595)

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