Neatlinemaps Categories
  • Reset

Categories

  • Reset

1631 Merian map of the Western Hemisphere with polar insets

Place/Date: Frankfurt / 1631
Sold
Title: America noviter delineata
Dimensions
45.7 x 38.1 cm (18 x 15 in)
Identifier
NL-00086
Coloring
Uncolored
Condition Rating
VG

Description

This is the uncommon, larger version of Merian’s map of the Americas, based on the cartography of Jodocus Hondius’s map of 1618.

North America features a large inset of the north polar region including Greenland and Iceland. It is positioned prominently to cover up unknown interior regions of modern-day Canada. A large, bulging Virginia and an odd New England coastline are drawn, and the continent is filled with important place names (including many Indian villages) and geographical features. The western coastline above California extends toward Asia, making the continent too wide. The mythical Seven Cities of Cibola are situated on a lake, which is imagined as the source of the Rio Grande. There is only a hint of the Great Lakes and no Long Island.

For its part, South America is depicted oversized, with Brazil extending far out into the Atlantic. The continent is filled with depictions of cannibals, explorers, animals, and pictorial mountain ranges. A mythical lake, Parime Lacus, is situated on the equator.

A strapwork cartouche with skulls and bones, sea monsters lurking in the oceans, and cannibals preparing a feast, all give this map a stunning macabre style.

Published in Newew Welt und Americanische Historien.

Cartographer(s)

Matthäus Merian

Matthäus Merian (September 1593 – 19 June 1650) was a Swiss -born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house. He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family.

arly in his life, he had created detailed town plans in his unique style, eg a plan of Basel (1615) and a plan of Paris (1615). With Martin Zeiler (1589 – 1661), a German geographer, and later (circa 1640) with his own son, Matthäus Merian, he produced a series of Topographia. The 21-volume set was collectively known as the Topographia Germaniae. It includes numerous town plans and views, as well as maps of most countries and a World Map — it was such a popular work that it was re-issued in many editions. He also took over and completed the later parts and editions of the Grand Voyages and Petits Voyages, originally started by de Bry in 1590.

Merian’s work inspired the Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna by Erik Dahlberg . The German travel magazine Merian is named after him.

After his death, his sons Matthäus Jr. and Caspar took over the publishing house. They continued publishing the Topographia Germaniae and the Theatrum Europaeum under the name ‘Merian Erben’ (ie Merian Heirs).

Condition Description

Strong and dark impression. Some professional restoration; backed on Japanese tissue paper.

References

Burden, Philip D. The Mapping of North America: a list of printed maps, 1511-1670. Rickmansworth, Herts.: Raleigh Publications, 1996, 235.

Shopping cart

No products in the cart.