The First Map




The  Americas






Sebastian Munster

(Basle 1540)


This is the finest known example of the first edition of Sebastian Munster's version of Ptolemy's Geographia, with all the maps in superb full original color.  The atlas contains 48 woodcut maps,  including 21 new ones and a geographical index.

Of particular interest are the individual maps devoted to each of the continents ... this being the first atlas to do so.  The map devoted to America is one of the most famous and important of the sixteenth century.

This is one of the rarest and most important sought after type of book by the famous Cartographer Sebastian Münster. It describes the entire world as it was thought to be before the year 1598. When one considers that Munster was working only some 50 years or so after Columbus discovered the America, the fact that there is any realistic substance to some of the Maps is quite amazing. There are 26 large double page maps, over 80 panoramic views of cities and maps, and over a thousand woodcuts of creatures, people, battle scenes, and views.

Bibliographic reference: Burmeister 83, Sabin 51395, Alden 598/73. 
Measurements: 39cm long, 25 cm wide, and 13 cm thick.