The Rare First Block
World/ Pacific Ocean.
[Basel, 1545]

Typus Universalis.

10 3/4 x 14 7/8 inches. Few mended wormholes with no loss, else excellent condition.

            First block: A very early issue of this famous, Discovery-era world map. The wind-heads for the east and west are contained in the body of the map, and there is a note describing a supposed Northwest Passage, which identifies this as an example of the first block.

            In broad strokes, this evocative work presents the world as it was known by the educated classes of the mid-16th century.  As Strauss aptly observed, Munster “taught nearly three generations of laymen most of what they knew about the world beyond their native places.” However, this work also highlights many of the legends and uncertainties that characterized mapping of the period.  Shown prominently is the Sea of Verrazano, that portion of the Pacific Ocean that cuts deeply into North America.  Also, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland form a single landmass that joins with Europe. The visually striking map has the traditional 16th century framework of named wind-heads imbedded in clouds, and two large, sea monsters dominate the southern oceans.

* Shirley 77.

Price: $8,500.00

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