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One of the Earliest “Modern” Maps of the North

Scandinavia. WALDSEEMULLER, M./ FRIES, L. [Lyons, 1525 / 1535]
Untitled. 12 ¾ x 17 ½ inches.
Fine hand color, toned at margins, else excellent condition.


One of the earliest acquirable maps of Scandinavia. While many of the maps associated with Ptolemy’s Geographia appear in most editions of the book, this modern map only appeared in the Ulm, Waldseemuller and Fries editions of Geographia. This depiction of Scandinavia appeared for the first time in the extremely rare Ulm Ptolemy, and for the second time in the Waldseemuller editions of Geographia. The Fries edition of this map, while in many respects a faithful rendition of the Waldseemuller version, differs in several respects. An archipelago to the northwest of Scotland named “Iperboreum” on the Waldseemuller has been excised. Moreover, Prussia is named on the Fries map where the earlier versions neglect it. Notably, the Fries map adds the arms of several Scandinavian kingdoms, which appear neither on the Waldseemuller nor the Ulm.
The text along the right margin of the map describes the increase in the length of the days as one travels north, a phenomenon not as easily observed in most of the settled portions of Europe but one which travelers to Scandinavia would have found remarkable.

Ginsberg, W. Printed Maps of Scandinavia, Map 6.

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