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Lot nr:1022
Book nr:32244
Author:MERCATOR, Gerard
Title:Atlas sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura. Edition Quinta
Publisher:sumptibus & typis Henrici Hondij
Description:Gr. in-folio (44,5 x 30,5 cm), [9] ff, 378 pp, [18] ff, engraved title, double portrait of Gerard Mercator and Hendric Hondius, 152 (of 156) double-page maps and 4 engraved half-titles (for Gallia, the Low Countries, Germany and Southern Europe). All the maps are on double-page except one.
Contents: World map, 5 (of 6) maps of the Continents, 38 maps of Europe, 25 (of 26) maps of France, 11 maps of the Low Countries, 29 maps of Germany, 22 maps of Southern Europe, 4 (of 5) maps of Africa, 12 maps of Asia, 5 (of 6) maps of America. Text in FRENCH. Lacking 'Amercia sive India Nova' (I), 'Le Pays de Querci' (3Z), Nova Africa Tabula (7H) and America (8B). Title, portrait and all maps hand-coloured. Wide margined copy, atlas skillfully repaired with japanese paper throughout. Modern binding in full dark brown calf by the sisters of Sint-Catharinadal. Gilt borders, spine gilt. Green silk ties
Note:SUPERB ATLAS by Mercator (1512-1594). Mercator, the greatest name of 16th century cartography, is also considered as the greatest cartographer of all times with Ptolemy. His friend, Abraham Ortelius described Mercator as being the "contemporary Ptolemy." In the end, Mercator did not live long enough to see his work finished and printed and it is his son Rumold who took charge of the publication.
Ref. Koeman Me 26A (FOURTH edition, in French), but with the Latin title page of the fifth edition. Dedication 'Illustriss. Potentissimisque Dominis, Optimis Maximisque Foederatarum Provinciarum Belgicae', dated April 13, 1607, as in the fifth edition. The index in the beginning mentions 'the 7th edition'
"Contrary to the maps in Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum orbis terrarium, Antwerp 1570, Mercator's maps are original. Abrahm Ortelius did what most of the atlas-makers of our time are engaged in: the reduction and generalisation of already existing maps. Gerard Mercator, with his sense of scientific word (which should be original and new) checked the current knowledge of the configuration of the earth's topography against its fundamental sources and drew new maps in his original conception. This method of map-making took more time than it would have by mere copying. But he had not the intention to compete with Ortelius's best-selling atlas". Koeman.
Because the Mercator projection of the world was not ideal for the areas close to the poles, Mercator drew a separate map of the North Pole. His map made navigators believe there was a Northern passage to the East. The magnetic pole is represented as a black rock, California is situated in Alaska. The general map of Asia also showed a Northern passage to India. (ref. Campbell, Hoogtepunten uit de wereld van de cartografie, 1981, pp. 22-23)
The engraved title represents Atlas as on old man, below the title a watch dog, left and right allegorical representations of Mexico, Africa, Europe, Asia, Peru and Magellanica (the Unknown Southern Land)
Price:€9000 - €15000
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