C1532 (1540)

Nova, et Integra Universi Orbis Descriptio.

Oronce Fine’s famous double cordiform map of the world is acknowledged as being one of the most striking and influential world maps published in the c.16th. The present example is state 4 of the map identified by the inclusion of … Read Full Description

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S/N: WM-SHIRLEY-066–452836
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Full Title:

Nova, et Integra Universi Orbis Descriptio.


C1532 (1540)


One small spot at top sheet edge, otherwise in very good condition, with centre fold as issued. A good strong impression with wide margins.



Image Size: 

x 290mm

Paper Size: 

x 323mm
Nova, et Integra Universi Orbis Descriptio. - Antique Map from 1532 (1540)

Guaranteed Vintage Item

1532 (1540)


Oronce Fine’s famous double cordiform map of the world is acknowledged as being one of the most striking and influential world maps published in the c.16th.

The present example is state 4 of the map identified by the inclusion of the date M.D. XL (1540) in Roman numerals within the lower panel.

In all there are 6 states of the map, dated 1532, 1536, 1540, 1541 and 1555. All states are rare and as noted by Shirley, most examples are trimmed, making this example especially desirable.

The map first appeared in the 1532 Paris edition of Johann Huttich and Simon Grynaeus’ Novus Orbis Regionum (The new world), which contained a collection of travel accounts that included descriptions of the East Indies, the Holy Land, Africa and the Americas. Fine use new geometric principles for reducing the spherical earth to a two-dimensional map and became the model for cartographers prior to Mercator’s Projection. Like other cosmographers of the period Fine aimed to accommodate recent discoveries with the established geographical and astronomical principles in Claudius Ptolemy’s, Geographia.

Fine’s map is also one of the earliest printed maps to show the southern continent as a distinct landmass to counterbalance, cartographically speaking, the northern hemisphere.

Much of the right-hand (or southern) cordum is taken up with the new Terra Australis, noted as being ‘recently discovered but not yet explored.’ Beyond the tip of South America is marked the Mare magellanicum, one of the first uses of the navigator’s name in such a context. Central America contains numerous place names reflecting the conquests and explorations of Cortez in the early 1520s, but further north Fine has unambiguously made the North America continent part of the eastern extremity of Asia. Four islands make up the north polar regions. The separate island of Greenland is named, and a large promontory marked Gaccalar (supposedly Labrador) extend from the North American land mass into the Atlantic. There is a detailed floral surround to the map, two mermaids, two muscular cherubs, the French royal coat of arms and, at the head of the map, the title in a flowing banner. Oronce Fine’s map is one that deserved enlargement on to two sheets. Unfortunately, in many cases the margins of surviving copies are badly frayed as after folding once for insertion into the book they were still too wide for the binding.” (Shirley)



Shirley, R. The Mapping of the World Early Printed World Maps 1472-1700. London 1987 :: 66.
Mickwitz & Miekkavaara, The A.E. Nordenskiold Collection of Maps up to 1800 Helsinki 1979-1995 :: pp. 74, 90, 106, Pl. XLI(2).
Sabin, J. A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from its Discovery to the Present Time. New York. (1936) 1967 :: 27539 (state 3).
Suarez, T. Early Mapping of Southeast Asia. Singapore 1999 :: : p.98, ill. Fig. 53, ill. Fig. 52, detail.
National Library Australia, Mapping Our World. Canberra 2013 :: : p.83, ill. p.82, 84-85.
Clancy, R. The Mapping of Terra Australia. Sydney 1995 :: : p.106, p.122-123, ill. Map 8.1.

British Library London: 798
Library of Congress Washington D.C.: 2005630228
National Library Australia: Bib ID 372504 (1890 Facsimile)
TROVE- Australian libraries, universities, museums, galleries and archives: Not found
Yale University Library & Art Gallery: Call Number 1984 +145
Bibliotheque Nationale de France: ark:/12148/btv1b55005237j

Oronce Fine (1494 - 1555)

French mathematician, cartographer and illustrator. Born in Briançon, the son and grandson of physicians. He received his education in Paris at the Collège de Navarre and obtained a degree in medicine in 1522. He grew up in an academic household, and his parents were prominent contributors to the sciences in France at the time. His father, in addition to being a physician, was well-versed in astronomy and had created astronomical instruments. He published a treatise that was among the few astronomical works of French origin during that period. In 1531, Fine was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the Collège Royal, where he taught mathematics at the college until his death, becoming one of the leading mathematicians in France. Despite his significant contributions to mathematics, Fine faced financial problems and legal issues throughout his career. He took on work as an illustrator and proofreader for Parisian printing houses to support his large family and cope with his father's death. He published the astronomy book De mundi sphaera in 1542. Fine's writing covered the use of astronomical equipment and methods, including innovations like the méthéoroscope, an astrolabe modified with a compass. He also delved into geography, creating one of the first woodcut maps of France in 1525. His heart-shaped world map projection, first used in 1531, became a model for other cartographers, including Peter Apian and Gerardus Mercator. Fine's cosmography was influenced by the German mathematician and cosmographer Johannes Schöner.

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