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Description found in Archives
Place of creation
Scope and content
This untitled world map, from the 1511 edition of Ptolemy's "Geograhia", is an extremely early example of 16th century Venetian cartography. One of the first maps to show the newly discovered Americas, it presents a fascinating view of the post-Columbian world. South America, of which only the western coast is shown, is named "Terra Sanctae Crucis" and the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola appear overly large. Further north is the island "terra laboratorus" and a region named "regalis domus", resulting from the Portuguese explorations of the Corte Real brothers in 1501. On the opposite side of the map the island of "Zampagv" (Japan), appears for only the second time on a printed map. The first appearance being on the Contarini/Rosselli map of 1506 of which there is only one known copy. The land masses are vigorously engraved with mountain ranges, rivers and placenames, and the map is surrounded by twelve decorative windheads and signs of the zodiac (the ram, the scales and the crab). It is the first map produced using two-color woodblock printing, with the placenames printed in red ink by means of type set into the woodblock and applied with a second strike of the plate. The distinctive cordiform (heart-shaped) projection was used for the first time on this map.
Conditions of access
Original can be viewed in the presence o
f an early cartographic archivist.
2 Item no. assigned by LAC 2
Credit Library and Archives Canada.
Creator / Provenance
Biography / Administrative history
Born in Eboli, southern Italy, Silvano was a draughtsman and editor who is believed to have worked in Naples and Venice. He completed a manuscript edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, c 1490. He is known for his world map on cordiform (heart-shpaed) projection which appeared in 1511.
Cartographic math data
Citation / reference note
Layng, Entry 29
Nordinskiold, Entry 204
Availability of other formats note
This map was part of an exhibition held at The Royal Ontario Museum, March 1954 entitled "The Discovery & Mapping of the Great Lakes 'Sweet Water' 1522-1703 showcasing MacDonald's Collection.
Varying form of title
World - Maps - Early works to 1600 .
Other system control no.
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