C1545

India Extrema

Mapmaker:

Sebastian Munster (1488 - –)

This is one of the earliest maps of the Asian continent made and based on information derived from Portuguese sources. The Asian continent is shown with current knowledge, but Munster doesn’t resolve the north east coast of Asia and depicts … Read Full Description

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S/N: COSMOMUNSTER-ASI-023-GBEL-001–216723
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Details

Full Title:

India Extrema

Date:

C1545

Mapmaker:

Sebastian Munster (1488 - –)

Condition:

Repaired worm hole left centre otherwise in good condition

Technique:

Copper engraving hand coloured

Image Size: 

342mm 
x 257mm

Frame Size: 

685mm 
x 600mm
AUTHENTICITY
India Extrema - Antique Print from 1545

Genuine antique
dated:

1545

Description:

This is one of the earliest maps of the Asian continent made and based on information derived from Portuguese sources. The Asian continent is shown with current knowledge, but Munster doesn’t resolve the north east coast of Asia and depicts it as joined to the Americas. Goa, the Portuguese’s stronghold on the subcontinent is shown, as is Sri Lanka, named Zaylon. The island of Sumatra is named Taprobana and Sumatra illustrating the confusion resulting from Ptolmey’s texts in which Munster stated that Taprobana was the largest in the world, a claim that Marco Polo also made in his scribed accounts of his travels from China to Persia. As a consequence many geographers and cartographers were understandably confused and often place both names on the island. Malacca which controls the important straits for shipping from the east was attacked and claimed by the Portuguese in 1512. From this base the Portuguese soon learnt the true source of the important source of Nutmeg and Cloves, “the spice islands”. These shown and named (Moluccas, Gilolo and Ternate). The only possible source for the location of the Spice Islands would have been from Portuguese sources as the Dutch were not make their presence felt for another 50 years. Below Taprobana is an enormous fish and a frolicking mermaid . References Fell, “Early Maps of South-East Asia, p.32, ill. p.33 Parry, “The Cartography of the East Indian Islands..” p.18,67, ill.pl. 3.8, p.66

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