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Extremely Rare, Asia Wall Map Sheet
DE JODE, Gerard [Antwerp, c. 1577-1591]
Asiae Nova. Descriptio.
20 x 15 inches.
A few light stains else excellent
The title sheet from an extremely rare wall map of Asia by Gerard De Jode. Until Prof. Gunter Schilder discovered of copy of the 8-sheet wall map in 1983 in Gottingen, it was known only through records of the Plantin Press. According to these, the wall map was first offered for sale by Gerard De Jode in c. 1577 and was re-issued by his son, Cornelis, in c. 1595 with a decorative title strip added, which does not appear on this sheet; thus, we give its end date as the year of the senior De Jode's death--1591.
The map is richly embellished with vignettes including Genghis Khan enthroned at upper right and several curiosities drawn from Jenkinson's travel account. The map itself is severely distorted especially to the north. It encompasses much of Russia and Siberia and to the right is part of Mongolia. At lower right it terminates at the headwaters of the Ganges, above which is Kabul ("Cabul"). A misshapen Caspian Sea is at lower left, below which is present-day Iran.
It is well known that the De Jodes fared poorly in the atlas market in the face of competition from the hugely popular atlas of Ortelius. However, theirs was still a highly successful firm that issued several separately published maps and other kinds of engravings, including many wall maps, all of which are either rare or not known in extant copies.