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A Superb Example with Rich Original Color

Asia. ORTELIUS, A. [Antwerp, 1575/ 1592]
Asiae Nova Descriptio. 14 5/8 x 19 3/8 inches.
Fine original color; fine condition.


A beautiful example of one of the earliest European maps of Asia. As one might expect, the map becomes progressively less accurate toward the Far East. The coast of China does not show its proper bulge, and Japan is greatly distorted in the so-called kite shape, one of several quite distinct delineations of Japan used by Ortelius on maps in the same atlas. However, India and Malaysia are reasonably well delineated. Ortelius shows a clear sea passage over the top of Asia, which may have influenced ill-fated searches for a northeast passage by Dutch mariners in the latter part of the 16th century.

van den Broecke 7.; Cortazzi, H. Isles of Gold, pl.19 (pp.82-3), pp.20-21.

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