Martayan Lan Search

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A Visually Engaging, Early Woodcut of Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia. . MUNSTER, S./ PTOLEMY, C. [Basel, 1552]
Tabula Asiae XI:. 10 ¼ x 13 ½ inches.
Fine hand color; a few centerfold mends, very good.


An attractive example of the Malay Peninsula map from Munster’s 1552 Ptolemy. The map shows “India beyond the Ganges,” then a near-mythical region reputed to be a source of gold. Beyond the peninsula lies a huge bay – the Sinus Magnus – which was the supposed body of water bounded by the lands that were thought to extend from China, around the Indian Ocean, and connect with Africa.
The map is notable for its decorative woodcuts of exotic birds (a parrot, and what appear to be cassowaries) and a lion.

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