This is a magnificent double hemisphere map, full of vivid color. It is surrounded in an elaborate strapwork border with an armillary sphere in the upper central portion and a 32-point compass rose in the bottom. This map of Rumold Mercator is based on his father's landmark world map of 1569. It provides a good snapshot of the known geographical features of the mid-late 16th century and the less known – or guessed at – features. Eastern Asia is misshaped and Kamchatka is missing. The Caspian Sea is rotated 90 degrees. The Americas, with some inaccuracies like the rather bulged southern part and misshaped western North America, are remarkable well represented. The North Pole is shown with a landmass and there is a well depicted Northwest Passage. The huge Terra Australis occupies today’s Antarctica. The lands of Beach, Lucach, and Maletur are shown somewhere near to today’s Australia presumably from early explorer travels. French text on verso.
1610 c. Mercator Double Hemisphere World Map
Orbis terrae compendiosa descriptio: quam ex magna universali Gerardi Mercatoris Domino Richardo Gartho, geographie ac aeterarum bonarum artium amatori ac fautori summo, in veteris amicitie ac familiaritatis memoria Rumoldus Mercator fieri curabat A0. M.D. LXXXVII
Map Maker Specifics
R Mercator, 1587 c. (1610?), Amsterdam
11.25 x 15.5 in. plus margins
Excellent for age. Wide top and bottom margins. Cut close to neat line on left. Slight age toning. A few small marginal tears. Issued centerfold. A few cracks of the original copper plate produced the two small vertical lines in the title and in Africa.