Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2011 Issue

Very Early Maps from Martayan Lan


On the Ruysch map, South America is separate, but North America and Asia are one.

Once Columbus returned, the world was forever changed. Item 7 is described by Martayan Lan as "the earliest acquirable map to show America." It was produced by Johann Ruysch in 1507, the same year as the famous Waldseemuller map, the one to first include the name "America." This map displays a rather massive South American continent, recognizing better than the Waldseemuller just how large South America is. However, when you head north, you begin to see real confusion by the mapmaker, still believing the world to be much smaller than it actually is. The result is that North America appears to be a continuation of Asia. Newfoundland, which Ruysch may have visited, is off the Asian coast, while Japan is close to the island of Hispaniola. Ruysch has added many place names, including a first on South America for "R.DE.BRASI.L." This was also the first printed map produced by someone who had actually visited the New World. Price on Request.


Item 10 is the first obtainable map to list the name of America. This is the 1520 version of the Waldseemuller map. It was produced by Petrus Apianus, and is not quite identical to the 1507 Waldseemuller as it has greatly expanded the view of South America, now displayed in its entirety. The 1507 is known in only one copy, while no other map until Apianus named "America," hence its being the first obtainable. $125,000.


You can reach Martayan Lan at 212-308-0018 or info@martayanlan.com.  Their website is www.martayanlan.com.

Rare Book Monthly

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