ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WORLD MAPS OF THE PERIOD
Orbis Terrarum Typus De Integro Multis in Locis Emmendatus auctore Petro Plancio 1594
16” x 22-5/8”. Uncolored. Excellent condition.
This is one of the most important and influential world maps of the late sixteenth century. Plancius used his 1590 world map as his pattern map, which in turn was based on Mercator, but made several significant innovations. The depiction of the East Indies is greatly improved, and may be the best of the period. Japan is given a more accurate shape, based on the manuscripts of the Portuguese cartographer Luis Teixeira.
Important alterations were made to the Arctic. Plancius includes the traditional four large polar islands, but attaches a legend that indicates he no longer believes in their existence. The map betrays knowledge of the recent English polar voyages, and Nova Zembla is now shown as an island.
One of Plancius’ greatest innovations was the introduction of a new style of pictorial decoration used to fill in the blank areas that surrounded the two hemispheres. It established a pattern of cartographical decoration that remained in vogue for over a century. The four corners were filled with allegorical representations of the continents (Europe, Asia, America, Africa), which established a definite hierarchy, with a regally clothed Europe, surrounded by symbols of the arts, sciences, trade, and warfare at the top. Later mapmakers often substituted the seasons for the continents.
Plancius’ world map was avidly reprinted and copied until the end of the seventeenth century by such mapmakers as Vrients (1596), De la Houvre (1600), Van den Keere (1604), and Allard (c.1650).
Schilder, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandici, IV, Map 10.3.1; pp. 205-214; Schilder & Kok, Sailing for the East History & Catalogue of Manuscript Charts on vellum of the Dutch East India Company, plate 1.1; Shirley, The Mapping of the World, 187.
Inventory No. 8235