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Abraham Ortelius (Antwerp 1527-1598) was a Flemish cartographer and geographer, generally recognised as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World) which was published in forty-two editions in seven languages from 1570 to 1612. He is also believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions. He came to be recognized by his contemporaries as the "Ptolemy of the 16th century". The map on display first appeared in the secon edition of Ortelius's atlas printed in 1570 as the first edition. Americae sive Novi Orbi provides a reasonably accurate outline of North America, showing the St. Lawrence River as a gateway to the Pacific Ocean. However, the map shows a very narrow Pacific Ocean and situates New Guinea due south of California. Also it shows the famous extra bulge on the western coast of South America (where modern day Chile is located) which waslater removed in versions after 1587. An array of sailing vessels in each ocean, distinctive architectural and rococo embellishments, along with a cartouche on the lower hand side all complement this important map.
Engraving Information:This artistic reproduction of an antique map was made using the same techniques, materials and instruments used for the original. Map is created from a zinc slab that is mounted on a wooden base and printed by hand, a piece at the time, on a press with a limited production size of 20 pieces each time. Map is printed on cotton-paper panels which are glued and mounted on a cotton cloth background "a stacchi" (slightly separated from each other), in order to allow for folding and easier transport. Finally, map is water-colored by hand, making it a truly unique piece, worthy of the original vintage map.
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