Indiae Orientalis Insularumque Adiacientium Typus.

Famous early c.17th map of the East Indies by Abraham Ortelius. One of the earliest maps to focus solely on the East Indies, and with northwest Australia named Beach, published in Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, widely regarded as the first … Read Full Description

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S/N: ORTE-166-ASI-IE-1595L108–437558
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Full Title:

Indiae Orientalis Insularumque Adiacientium Typus.




In good condition, with wide margins, free of tears or strengthening to centre fold.


Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 355mm

Paper Size: 

x 443mm
Indiae Orientalis Insularumque Adiacientium Typus. - Antique Map from 1595

Genuine antique



Famous early c.17th map of the East Indies by Abraham Ortelius.

One of the earliest maps to focus solely on the East Indies, and with northwest Australia named Beach, published in Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, widely regarded as the first modern atlas for 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. Superbly embellished with a pair of frolicking mermaids, galleons, sea monsters, a crest and decorative strapwork title cartouche engraved by Frans Hogenberg (1539-1590).

Ortelius’s map of the Indies improved upon the previous cartography of the Moluccas (Spice Islands) by Ramusio 1554, Gastaldi 1562, and Forlani 1565, using more recent Portuguese and Spanish sources. This map, along with Ortelius’s map of Asia are the first published works to chart the island of Formosa (Taiwan) and to identify it by that name. The Moluccas were visited by the Italian traveller Varthema who reached the island of Momoch (probably Ternate) in 1505, seven years prior to the Portuguese. In the account of his travels, Itinerario de Ludouico de Varthema Bolognese, published in Rome in 1510, he wrote ‘Here the cloves grow, and in many other neighbouring islands.’ Ortelius correctly locates the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Machian and Bachan to the west of Gilolo and in doing so, provided for the first time a large-scale map published in sufficient numbers to make a substantial impact on the current knowledge of the East Indies. The land of Beach, the northern tip of Australia, is shown emerging from the lower margin and above it lies the mythical land of Java Major which, according to Marco Polo, was the largest island in the world. Polo’s Java Minor is seen here correctly named as the island of Sumatra.

Ortelius text on the map translated:
Title: A map of the East Indies and surrounding islands].
Banner at lower right: “Insulæ Moluccæ ob maximam aromatum copiam, quam per totum terrarû orbem trans|ferunt, 5.sunt, iuxta Gilolo nempe, Tarenate, Tidore, Motir, Machia et Bachia.” [Of the famous Moluccas islands there are next to Gilolo five, exporting all over the world a great abundance of fragrant spices, namely Tarenate, Tidore, Motir, Machia and Bachia.]
New Guinea: “NOVA GVINEA quam Andreas Corsalis Terram Piccinaculi appellare vi:detur. An insula sit, an pars continentis Australis incer:tum est”. [New Guinea, which seems to be called Piccinaculusland by Andreas Corsalis. Whether this is an island or part of the South Land is uncertain.]

This edition identified by: text last line, left aligned: di Gonsali Ferdinandi Ouetani,eadem lingua editum., page number, 121


Van Den Broecke, M. P. R. Ortelius Atlas Maps.1996 Netherlands.: 1695.
Clancy, R. The Mapping of Terra Australia. Sydney 1995: p.70 ill. map 5.16.
Cortazzi, H. Isles of Gold Antique Maps of Japan. Tokyo 1992: p.20, ill.17 pp.80-81.
Parry, D. The Cartography of the East Indian Islands Insulae Indiae Orientalis. London 2005: pp. 76-80, ill. plate 3.14.
Quirino, C. Philippine Cartography (1320-1899) Amsterdam 2010 Manila: p.96, ill.pp.86-87.
Suarez, T. Early Mapping of Southeast Asia. Singapore 1999: p.164-168 ill.166-167.
Tooley, R.V. The Mapping of Australia. London 1979: 937.
Walter, L. Japan a Cartographic Vision. New York 1994: ill.11d, detail 11d.
Kroght, P. Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici. Amsterdam 1997. Nine volumes.: 31:054 (121) 121 Vol IIIA, p.126.

National Library Australia: Bib ID 3421411 (1601)
State Library New South Wales: MMS ID 991001095349702626 (1612)

Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598)

Ortelius was a Flemish cartographer, map seller and publisher. Ortelius was a leading cartographer who published the first modern atlas in 1570, Theatrum orbis terrarum in which each map was presented on a separate sheet. He initially trained as an engraver in 1547 and as an illuminator of maps. Influenced by Gerard Mercator he published his first map in 1564 and soon after published his famous atlas that changed the way maps were sold and published.

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