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Ptolemaic world map based on Waldseemüller

Place/Date: Vienne / 1541
Title: Diefert Situs Orbis Hydrographorum Ab Eo Quem Ptolomeus Posuit…
Woodblock printing
28.7 x 46 cm (11.3 x 18 cm)
Condition Rating


World map reduced from that of Waldseemüller in 1513, onto which Fries has added that five kings of Russia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka (Taprobana), and Thailand (Mursuli), along with a mammoth in the upper left corner near Greenland, which is depicted as a peninsula.

Two separate sections of the Americas are depicted running out of frame to the west. Similarly to Fries’s other contemporary world map, India is drawn as a confusing double peninsula. England and Scotland on this are depicted as a single island rather than the two on the other map.

One of the earliest world maps available to the collector, an attractive rendering of the known world. The plain type title Tabula nova totius orbis marks this example as the 1541 Vienna issue.


Laurent Fries

Laurent Fries (ca. 1485-1532) was a French physician and mathematician born in Mulhouse. His Geographia a Ptolemaic atlas based on his work with the famous Martin Waldseemüller, achieved great success, being published first in 1522, and reissued in 1525, 1535, and 1541.

Condition Description

Very good; some minor repairs.


Shirley, Rodney W. The Mapping of the World: Early Printed World Maps, 1472-1700. London: Holland Press, 1983, #49.

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