America siue India nova : ad magnae Gerardi Mercatoris aui Vniversalis imitationem in compendium redacta.


Michael Mercator (1567 - 1600)

$A 6,750

In stock

S/N: MERC-002-USA–227242

Full Title:

America siue India nova : ad magnae Gerardi Mercatoris aui Vniversalis imitationem in compendium redacta.




Michael Mercator (1567 - 1600)


In good condition, with centre fold as issued.


Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 330mm

Paper Size: 

x 415mm


One of the most famous maps of the Americas. After the death of the great mapmaker Gerard Mercator in 1594, it was left to his son Rumold to complete the last part of Atlantis Pars Altera that Mercator had begun and which later became known as the Mercator Atlas. This map was made by Mercator’s grandson Michael and is the only one known to be by him. Beautifully engraved in a hemispherical format, surrounded by an intricate floral pattern with four rondels in each corner. The one at lower right contains the title America or New India and includes his name. The other three are of: the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti). The geography is based on Rumold Mercator’s world map of 1587 and contains prevailing geographical theories and errors, including: the large inland lake in Canada, two of the four islands of the North Pole, the bulge of the western coast of South America and the large southern landmass named Terra Australis Nondum Cognita.


Allen p.73, ill. p.73, Burden I, 87 Pl 87 p.112, Goss 19, Portinaro p.126 Pl LX T, Koeman I, Me 22.

National Library of Australia,  Bib ID2637149


Gerard Mercator (1512-1594)

Famous Belgian cartographer, philosopher and mathematician, best known for his new world map on a rectangular projection which allowed a course to be plotted in a straight line and now known as, Mercator’s Projection.

Initially studied philosophy at the university of Leuven but as he became convinced of the importance of exact sciences, for the study of the true configuration of the world, he took courses in mathematics. He was soon recognised as an expert on the construction of mathematical instruments, as a land surveyor and after 1537 as a cartographer. He also qualified as an engraver and was the first to introduce the italic in handwriting to the trade.

As he became increasingly better known as a cartographer he embarked on a project for a complete description of the Creation, the Heavens, Earth, the Sea and a world history. Out of this resulted his Atlas, sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura. He drew the maps, engraved the plates and wrote the text for each map an enormous undertaking and unlike other mapmakers of the period, Mercator vigorously researched current knowledge and drew new maps. This process was much more time consuming than the mere copying of existing maps.

His work load caused eye strain and ill health, and soon after the publication of the second part of his map-book (as yet named an atlas) he had a stroke in 1589. This ended his great productivity and he died in 1594 leaving the task of completion of his Pars Altera to his son Rumold.

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