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1541 Ptolemaic map of Central Asia

Place/Date: Vienne / 1545
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Title: [Title on Verso] Tabula Septima Asiae Complectitur Margianam, Bactrianam, Sogdianam, Sacas, & Scythiam, Intra Imaum Montem
Technique
Woodblock printing
Dimensions
45.8 x 28.2 cm (18 x 11.1 in)
Identifier
NL-00292
Coloring
Hand color
Condition Rating
VG

Description

This fine woodblock map covers Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea and what is now Turkestan, the Steppes, Afghanistan and beyond. The Himalayas run across the bottom of the map in the typical rope-like formation.

This edition was printed by Gaspar Treschel and edited by Michael Villanovus (known as Servetus). Servetus was charged with heresy by John Calvin in 1553, in part due to the text in this atlas. The courts found him guilty and sentenced him to burning at the stake, atop a pyre of his own books, including this atlas.

Cartographer(s)

Laurent Fries

Laurent/Lorenz Fries (ca. 1485-1532): Born in Alsace circa 1490, Fries studied medicine and mathematics at a number of European universities. He was trained as a physician, but was also keenly interested in cartography and medical publications. From 1518-19 Fries is mainly based in Strasbourg from where he was commissioned to compile the first edition of Waldseemüller’s atlas after his death in 1520.

Condition Description

A clean and bright example on paper with a bunch of grapes watermark, one small worm hole along the centerfold, and old manuscript notations in the image.

References

Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #211-21.

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