The rare first state of this famous map of Asia.
This plate is succeeded by a very similar Asia plate, Ort 7 in the course of 1574. Therefore, this plate is much less common than its successor, Ort 7. "La Farfana" in the upper right corner in the sea has lower case "farfana" in plate 7, but capital "Farfana" in the present first plate. The town "Ara" above "Aden" has disappeared in plate 7. Van den Broecke
One of the earliest European maps of Asia and the standard map of the continent for more than forty years. Published in Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, widely regarded as the first modern atlas, having all the maps in a similar size and format. Ortelius was the first to separate ancient and recent geographic knowledge in his maps and to indicate the changes from the old nomenclature to the new.
The map is beautifully embellished with an ornate title cartouche, galleons and spherical meridians of longitude and latitude. The map is drawn on a cordiform projection but the continent has been extended too far to the east, based on Ptolemy’s miscalculation of the longitude of Eurasia. The sources of the map are Gastaldi 1560, Mercator 1569 and portolan charts by the Portuguese mapmaker Fernao Vaz Dourado who was based in Goa. This map, along with Ortelius’s map of the East Indies were the first published works to chart the island of Formosa (Taiwan) and to identify it by that name. Only the tip of Terra Australis Incognita is shown, the remainder being beyond the scope of the map.
The engraving of all the copper plate was done by Frans Hogenberg.
1572/1574F3 (225 copies printed) (last line, centred like 2 lines above it, in cursive script like the entire text: "ou terre ferme auec la Magellanique."), French text on verso.
References: Broecke 7, Clancy p.25, ill.1.12, Moreland pp.98-99, Quirino p.96, Richardson p.201, ill.p.202, 212-213, Suarez (A) pp.164-167, ill. Fig. 85, Sweet 5, Walter 11C. (Ort 6 (Koeman/Meurer: 3 Karrow: 1/8, van der Krogt AN: 8000:31A))