Leen Helmink Antique Maps

Asia by Münster

Cartographer

Münster

Title

La table de la region orientale, comprenant les dernieres terres et royaumes d'Asie.

Published

Basle, 1540

Size

27.0 x 34.0 cms

Technique

Woodcut

Stock number

18645

Condition

excellent

Price

$ 1250

Description

The first map dedicated to the Asian continent and the earliest map of the region 'that collectors can possibly hope to acquire'. The map combines elements from Ptolemy (Scythia, Serica), Marco Polo's accounts (Cathay, Quinsay, archipelago of 7448 islands, Zanzibar), and Portuguese discoveries (Calicut, Malacca). A mermaid is shown in the lower right, as well as a large fish at the center bottom.

The title on verso of the map has decorations all around that are attributed to the most famous artist Hans Holbein the Younger, a friend of Sebastian Münster.

"Münster's general map of Asia is based on the reports of the Portuguese, Arabs, and Marco Polo. It includes an extremely early depiction of the Philippines (Palawan)."

(Suárez).