Culiacanae, Americae regionis, descriptio.
Hispaniolae, Cubae, aliarumque insularum circumiacientum, delineatio. -

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DATE: 1592

MAP MAKER: Abraham Ortelius.

SIZE: 19 1/4" X 13 13/16".

PRICE: $2000.00


Abraham Ortelius; 1528-1598.

Ortelius name is often associated with Ptolemy and Mercator, when evocating the founding fathers of cartography. Abaham Ortel (Ortelius), born in Antwerp, trained in classics and math.
He became a book dealer and a map colorist. Widely travelling to attend fairs, he befriended many literati, in his homeland and abroad. Upon their encouragement, he engaged in 1570 in the "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" project, by collecting maps, charts and plans among diverse cartographers, and having Frans Hogenberg* re-engrave them in the same uniform size and style, to form the first known modern Atlas (even though this term was not used for another twenty years,. by his major competitor: Gerard Mercator!).
The Theatrum knew an immediate and lasting success, being re-issued many times over in different languages. It always gave credit to the sources of informations and other contributors used to produce the maps (a practice few followed in those days.).
Of note: the 42 editions of the "Theatrum" between 1570 and 1612, the 1577 "Spiegel der Werelt" (reduced version of the Theatrum engraved by Philippe Galle, issued till 1585); and the 1579 "Parergon Theatri" (historical atlas, reissued till 1624).

*Hogenberg associated with Georg Braun, was famous for their 1572 "Civitates orbis terrarum", a compilation of plans of the most significant towns of the time, being recycled many times till 1750 by Abraham Hogenberg, Frederick de Wit, Pieter van der Aa, and Covens & Mortier.

Culiacanae, Americae regionis, descriptio.
Hispaniolae, Cubae, aliarumque insularum circumiacientum, delineatio.

This double map (together 19 " X 13 13/16") was designed by Ortelius and engraved for the 1579 edition of the Theatrum. The present item was printed for the 1592 issue and is known as the second state (hachuring on Mexico west coast is twice as long as in the first state).
One of the most famous maps of Cuba and its vicinity, it presents a few unique features;
- longitudes are not shown west of Ferro Island (the westernmost Canary island) as it was customary at the time. As explained in the upper left cartouche, longitudes are given west of Toledo, as calculated by Ortelius himself.
- on both maps, the tropic line is misnamed" Capricorni". This error was not removed until the 1595 edition of the atlas where both lines are correctly called Tropicus Cancri, or Tropic of Cancer.
The Mexico map mostly shows today's state of Sinaloa with its principal town: Culiacan Rosales. The coastal islands are quite well depicted, but Villa S Michaelis is not identifiable.
The Caribbean islands map is also remarkably accurate.
Notice Puerto Rico, here named S Ioannis (San Juan). Its main town to the north is Portus Riccus (rich harbor),.. which in time will be renamed San Juan, while the island name will switch to Puerto Rico. San German, port town used by Ponce de Leon in 1513 to discover Florida, has been abandoned and relocated inland after having been pillaged by pirates.
Jamaica appears also with a low population density, but both Hispaniola and Cuba seem already heavily citified.
Santiago (S Iacobi) is still rivaling Havana and Santo Domingo, judging by the size of the icons representing them.
On the east side of Florida, "the Bahama current (the Gulf Stream) always flows northward"..
Latin text on verso.





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