Important Antiquarian Maps and Atlases from Martayan Lan
Item 178 has been described as the "first modern atlas." This is Abraham Ortelius' great Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the 1592 edition of a work first published in 1570. The atlas grew by 80 maps between the first edition and this. It is called the "first" as this was the first systematic collection of maps of the world since the time of Ptolemy, when the known world was much smaller. At the time, Ortelius' atlas was the most expensive book ever published, with hand-colored copies such as this even more expensive. The world map is pictured on the cover of Martayan Lan's catalogue (click the thumbnail image on page 1 to enlarge), and it dramatically displays the gigantic, imagined southern continent, with an arm reaching into what is now known as Australia. Priced at $225,000.
Item 27 is a circa 1710 edition of the Jaillot 1674 map of North America, based on Sanson's 1650 map. What is today the United States is broken into five regions. The smallest is the British colonies along the Atlantic coast, the largest is New France, including Canada. Canada then borders on Florida to the South, New Mexico to the west. Finally, to the far west is an island -- California. The Northwest is simply left out, as it was unknown territory at the time. Though published in Amsterdam, it is French in origin, explaining why the most accurate inland feature is the St. Lawrence River, with a reasonable look at the Great Lakes considering the era. The California island myth would persist into the 1700s before finally being reattached to the mainland. Click the thumbnail image on this page to see the map. $12,500.
There are many more maps of the world and western hemisphere within this catalogue, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. There are also many regional U.S. maps, Canada, South and Central America, Asia, Africa, numerous European countries, and various other regional maps, plus atlases and celestial charts. You may visit Martayan Lan online at www.martayanlan.com, telephone 212-308-0018.