Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum una cum tabula cosmographica. S. GRYNAEUS, J. HUTTICHIUS.
Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum una cum tabula cosmographica...
Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum una cum tabula cosmographica...
Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum una cum tabula cosmographica...
With The Splendid World Map Attributed To Holbein
In a Contemporary Dated Binding
First Edition to Contain the Report of Magellan’s Voyage
De Moluccis Insulis
Basel, Johann Herwagen, 1537 [Colophon: 1536.]

Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum una cum tabula cosmographica.

Folio [31.5 x 20 cm], (24) ff., 599 (1) (i.e. 602 pp., (on Cc4 & Cc5 page numbers 583/4 repeated but text complete & sequential), 4 woodcuts in text and printer’s mark on verso of last leaf; with the Holbein world map. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards; with the date 1548 blindstamped on front cover, original clasps present. Minor staining on G4, otherwise very clean; generally a tall and fresh copy, with a superb copy of the world map.

A fine complete copy in a handsome contemporary dated binding of the augmented edition of Grynaeus’s Novus Orbis, the most influential collection of early travel literature of the period, with the famous woodcut world map often attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger. Besides the three voyages of Columbus, the work includes, among others, those of Petrus Alonzo and Pinzo, three of Vespucci’s four voyages, and Peter Martyr’s De insulis nuper inventis. According to Borba, the present edition is the first to contain the Letter of Maximilian of Transylvania reporting the news of Magellan’s voyage (p. 585 ff.) The present copy contains one of the finest examples of the world map we have ever seen: fresh, well-inked and virtually flawless. 

This edition is augmented by the second and third letters of Cortes and selected letters of Juan Zumarraga, the first Archbishop of Mexico. Though the account of Magellan’s voyage was originally published in 1522 in a 16-leaf ephemeral edition of a letter addressed to Charles V, its appearance in Grynaeus’s collection of voyages marks the first time his landmark discoveries appear in an historical context side by side with those of Columbus, Vespucci, and the Portuguese navigators.  Magellan thus joins the universal historical record, as it were, “a new thread woven into the rude, grim-pictured, but magnificent tapestry  which is the printed history of man.”

The world map issued with Grynaeus’s work is “from the artistic point of view one of the most interesting of the many world maps turned out in the sixteenth century. The world is shown on an oval projection surrounded by scenes of the outlandish animals, people and customs of the distant parts of the globe.  The masterful delineation of these scenes, as well as the ships and sea-monsters which embellish the oceans, has caused the design of the map to be attributed to the renowned Hans Holbein the Younger, who had many relationships with Basel publishers” (The World Encompassed 65). The work was first published in Basel in 1532 with the same map. A Paris edition with a different map by Oronce Finé followed the same year. This is the next Latin edition.

* Church 123; Harrisse 223; Adams G-1337; Borba I; Sabin 34,104; Bagrow, Kartographie, 72; Shirley #67.

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