THE FIRST MAP TO SHOW THE AMERICAS AS AN INSULAR LANDMASS
Die neuwen Inseln. From the Geography
Black and white wood cut, 10” x 13-3/4“. Very nice condition.
A very nice example of a landmark map for America. Munster’s map was the first to correctly show the two American continents as one insular landmass (the two continents correctly joined by the Central American isthmus but separated from Asia by a strait). All previous maps of America had lacked one or the other of these crucial features. It is also the first printed map, along with Munster's world map from the same source, to refer to Magellan's great ocean by the name he had christened it, “Mare Pacificum.”
Munster was “one of the most influential cartographers of the sixteen century. His editions of Ptolemy’s Geography (from 1540) were supplemented by a section of modern maps of his own creation. This map of America was also included in his Cosmography (from 1544), which due to its great popularity “sealed the fate of ‘America’ as the name for the New World” (Burden).
Munster’s geography for North America shows the influence of Verrazano. Based upon the account of Marco Polo, Japan appears as an arbitrary island off the "California" coast. The Straits of Magellan are named, and Magellan's ship and the "Unfortunate Islands' that he and his desperate crew passed on their ill-fated voyage are shown below Japan. The Yucatan is still shown as an island, and the Spanish flag flies over Puerto Rico, with the Portuguese flag set in the south Atlantic.
This is state four of the map with German text. “Atlantica” appears in the legend in South America instead of “Atlatica”, and “Temistitan” is still present.
Burden, Mapping of North America, I, 12; Kenneth Kershaw, Early Printed Maps of Canada, p. 3; Skelton, Decorative Printed Maps, p. 40 and plate 7; Schwartz/Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, pp. 43, 45, 50; Tooley, Maps and Mapmakers, p. 112, plate 80; Nordenskiold, Facsimile Atlas, pp. 23, 108, 110, 111, #73.
Inventory No. 8652