One of the earliest maps featuring America could bring $15,000 in New York

Collectors and alternative investors will be eager to find their way to Swann's Maps & Atlases auction in New York on November 29.

Among the sale's highlights is a strong impression of an early truncated cordiform world map: "Tipus Orbis Universalis juxta Ptolomei Cosmographi Traditionem et Americi Vespucii Aliorque Lustrationes" by the cartographer and German humanitarian Peter Apian (aka Petrus Apianus, pictured top right).

The portrayal of the Americas is at best imprecise... the New World had only been discovered 28 years

Produced in Vienna in the year 1520, Apian's wood-engrave folding map (320 x4 60 mm sheet size) was based on the Waldseemüller world map of 1507. Fellow German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller's map was the first to use the name "America".

Elsewhere, Apian's map contains little reference to later geographical discoveries except for "Caliqut" in India.

According to Swann's lot notes, the map was produced with the assistance of Laurent Fries, the French physician and mathematician, whose initials are in the lower right. In the lower left are the initials of Johan Kamers, in whose book the map appeared.

Click here to unfold Peter Apian's map from 1507


The monogram of publisher Luca Alantses is also in the lower left, who is understood to have paid for the production of the map. The portrayal of the Americas is at best imprecise, but still speaks to the rapid exploration of the New World which had only been discovered 28 years before.

Swann's condition notes describe several short closed marginal tears on the map (not visible in the above image, very slight darkening along the map's top edge, a small closed hole at one fold, and another smaller closed hole at another intersection.

Apian's historically important vision of the world will appear in Swann's New York auction with a $10,000-15,000 pre-sale estimate.


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