Map that named America to auction in December

The map that named America is coming to auction at Christie’s on December 13.

It was drawn up in 1507 by German mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller.

It’s also the first ever globular map.

Waldseemuller map America

Waldseemuller's map was the first to be printed as a globe 

Those 12 segments are known as gores and can be cut out and pasted to a globe.

Columbus had discovered the Americas just a few years before, in 1493.

However, he had mistakenly believed he was in India. It was Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci who figured out that this enormous landmass was an entirely new continent.

Five years later, Waldseemuller named that mysterious continent “America” in his honour.

This map is one of around 1,000 copies that were originally printed. It would have been sold alongside a large wall map.

Only one wall map is known to exist. The US Library of Congress acquired it for $10m a few years ago.

This globular map is one of five left. It’s expected to go for $1.2m, a sum that looks a little low considering another made $1m at Christie’s in 2005.

Christie’s senior specialist Julian Wilson said: "The discovery of this unknown copy of the Waldseemuller gores marks the most exciting moment of my twenty-year career at Christie’s.

"His cartographic innovations had an enormous influence in the science of map-making and perhaps most significantly, defined history in naming America."

The lot will auction as part of a sale of books and manuscripts in London.

Come and take a look at all the items for sale in our store.

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