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16th century woodcut world map with mythical kings and beasts.

Place/Date: Vienne / 1541
Title: Diefert Situs Orbis Hydrographorum Ab Eo Quem Ptolomeus Posuit…
Woodblock printing
73.7 x 58.4 cm (29 x 23 in)
Hand color
Condition Rating


Elegant world map reduced from that of Waldseemüller (1513), onto which Fries has added the 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 Vienne issue.

Source: Geographicae enarrationis libri octo


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

Striking hand color and excellent impression. Remnants of hanging tape on verso. Minor vertical cracking along centerfold.


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

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