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The Rare First State of a Landmark in Southeast Asian Cartography

Sumatra. GASTALDI, G./ RAMUSIO, J. B. [Venice, 1556]
Sumatra. 10 ¾ x 14 ½ inches
Old manuscript alteration to page numbering that is characteristic of the first state; fine condition


A superb example of "the first separate map of any Southeast Asian island to be based on actual observation" (Suarez). It is moreover highly unusual for a map this early to focus entirely on a single island in this part of the world. It was based on the reports of the two Parmentier brothers, who while in residence on the island made an abortive attempt to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the region. The very attractive woodcut shows trees, dwellings, animals and people, and the surrounding sea is filled with ships and sea monsters.

Suarez, T.Early Mapping of Southeast Asia p.157, & fig.77.

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