Title: Iaponiae Insulae Descriptio. Ludoico Teisera Auctore. [first map of Japan published in European atlas]Map maker: Abraham Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis TerrarumPlace and Year: Antwerp, 1595Dimensions: 47.8 x 35.3 cm (18.8 x 13.9 in)Technique: Copperplate engravingColoring: Hand coloredCondition Rating: VG+, A crisp impression on watermarked paper with a light vertical crease adjacent to the centerfold and some minor surface soil.
This landmark map was the first map of Japan published in a European atlas. Ortelius received the map from Ludovico Teixeira, a Portuguese Jesuit cartographer and mathematician. While Teixeira had not personally traveled to Japan, he obviously had access to Japanese sources as the map presents the first reasonably accurate and recognizable depiction of the island nation with numerous Japanese place names. Korea appears as an island tapering to a point labeled Punta dos ladrones. The map is elegantly embellished with three large galleons, two elaborate cartouches, and a boldly engraved border. This influential map was to become the basis for many other cartographers' maps of Japan for more than fifty years. Verso text: Latin, with page number 110, published in 1603.
Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) was a Flemish cartographer & geographer, celebrated as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World). Ortelius' work, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, was the first uniformly sized, systematic collection of maps; this work can therefore be called the first atlas (although the term was not used until 20 years later by Mercator).
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