(Image : 10 3/8 x 14 3/4’’) “Das
erst general inhaltend die beschreibung und den circkel des gantzen erderichs und möres” From Cosmogra-phia.
Basle: Sebastian Münster - Heinrich Petri, c. 1550. Woodcut engraving with later
hand-coloring. Verso: German. Engraved
by David Kandel (initials lower left).
(Ref: Shirley #92 – illus.; Baynton-Williams, Investing In Maps, p. 20 – illus.).
This early highly decorative woodcut, with twelve named wind-heads blowing
from the surrounding clouds, depicts the world as known in the mid 1500’s.
Oceans are decorated with numerous sea-monsters - in typical renaissance style.
North America is shown in an unusual
shape nearly bisected by water (probably derived from Verrazano's explorations,
1522-24, when the waters of the Chesapeake Bay were mistaken for the Indian
Ocean). The “west coast of North America, hypothetically drawn, carries the
name Temistitan, then generally used
to denote Mexico” (Shirley, p. 87). This is also the first map to name the Pacific Ocean (Mare Pacificum).
Münster was an eminent Renaissance
scholar and map-maker. “The names of three cartographers dominate the 16th
century: Mercator, Ortelius and Münster,
and of these three Münster probably had the widest influence in spreading
geographical knowledge throughout Europe…” (Antique
Maps, Moreland & Bannister, p. 78).