Europa, ad magnae Europae Gerardi Mercatoris P. imitationem, Rumoldi Mercatoris F. cura edita, servato tamen initio longitudinis ex ratione magnetis, quod Pater in magna sua universali posuit.
1595 (undated) 15.25 x 18.5 in (38.735 x 46.99 cm)
The 1595 first atlas issue of Mercator's general map of Europe. It appeared in his Atlas Sive Cosmographia, published in Duisberg. The map's geography is drawn from Mercator's wall map - likely not his lost 1554 Europe, but his 1569 World map. This map includes the fictitious geographical information published by the Venetian Nicolo Zeno in 1558. Zeno claimed that two early 15th century noblemen in his family - Nicolò and Antonio - had discovered America prior to Columbus, and moreover had been stranded on an island called Frisland - an island that does not exist. The younger Zeno produced a map describing these spurious discoveries, and this map was accepted and reproduced by Mercator, and then by other cartographers swayed by that great cartographer's authority. Frisland appears here in sharper detail than does Iceland.
The map's meticulous lettering and beautiful engraving - particularly in the ocean areas and mountains - is typical of Mercator's maps. The map is embellished with an elegant strapwork cartouche. The map was substantially revised when the atlas' production was taken over by Jodocus Hondius in 1606: issues prior to Hondius are scarce on the market.
Gerard Mercator (1512 - 1594) is a seminal figure in the history of cartography. Mercator's calculations and map designs redefined the 16th century concept of cartography and were the first to break away from the Ptolemy model. Many of his systems of measurement, such as the Mercator Projection, are still in use today. Despite his prominence as a cartographer, he started his career as a crafter of scientific instruments. He did not construct his first map until 1540, when he made two maps, one of Flanders and another of Palestine. These two impressive works earned him the patronage of the Emperor Charles V, for whom he construed a globe and several large scale maps. Despite this imperial patronage, Mercator was accused of heresy and in 1552 fled to Duisburg. In Duisburg he set himself up as a cartographer and began work on his revised edition of Ptolemy's Geographia. This three volume work was the first book to be called an "Atlas", after the Titan and King of Mauritania. Following Mercator's death his descendants took over his firm but languished because of heavy competition from the Ortelius firm. It was not until Mercator's plates were purchased and republished ( Mercator / Hondius ) by Henricus Hondius and Jan Jansson that Mercator's position as the preeminent cartographer of the age was re-established.
Mercator, G. Atlas, sive Cosmographicæ meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura. Duisberg, 1595
Good. Centerfold reinforced with some loss. Upper margin extended with some manuscript reinstatement of border.
OCLC 633411868. Van der Krogt 1000:1A.