Secunda etas mundi. Early world map from the time of Columbus, from the Nuremberg Chronicle. Hartmann Schedel.
Secunda etas mundi. Early world map from the time of Columbus, from the Nuremberg Chronicle.

Secunda etas mundi. Early world map from the time of Columbus, from the Nuremberg Chronicle.

Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1493. First edition. One of the last maps of the known world to be published without the Americas, this very important double page woodcut map shows the world as it was conceived before Columbus' voyage to the New World.

The map is a projection based on Ptolemy's 'Geographia', extending from North Africa and Anglia in the east to India in the west, omitting North and South America, Scandinavia, the southern part of Africa, and the Far East. The Indian Ocean is entirely land locked and a large unidentified island is shown off the west coast of Africa. The map is flanked by Biblical images of the sons of Noah, and surrounded by a decorative border with 12 compass wind heads.

The first edition of the map can be distinguished by the inclusion of Latin text below the map (rather than German) and by the placement of the map on the sheet above the text, rather than below it.

Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) was a noted physician, writer and book collector. The Nuremberg Chronicle is an illustrated world history, based on the Bible, which follows the story of human history related in the Bible and includes the histories of a number of important Western cities. The Chronicle is a well documented incunabulum, one of the first to successfully combine illustrations and text.

The woodcut images were made in the workshop of Michael Wohlgemut (1434-1519) who was an early teacher of Albrecht Durer, who served an apprenticeship in Wohlgemut's workshop and who may have been involved in the production of several of the illustrations in the Chronicle, preparing the drawings to be used by the craftsmen who cut the woodblocks.

Woodblock double page map. Trimmed at the left side, losing the block of mythical figures. Original fold strengthened on the back (minor restoration along centerfold, as usual); an early restoration of a tear visible below the text at the bottom edge; small brown fox spot at lower left mirrored more faintly at the right, a slight detraction. 18 1/2 x 16".

Shirley, Mapping of the World, No. 19, pl. 25; The World Encompassed, No. 44.

An exceptional world map from the most important illustrated secular work of the 15th century. Good + condition. Item #25958

Price: $5,500.00

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