“AMERICAE SIVE NOVI ORBIS, NOVA DESCRIPTIO” Antwerp: Abraham Ortelius, c. 1589. Verso text German. Plate 3. From the “first modern atlas” Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Engraved map with old hand-coloring. (Ref: P. Burden #64). (Image: 14 x 19 ¼’’)
This cornerstone map, elegantly ornamented and rich in detail, updates the geography and corrects the mythological bulge on the Pacific coast of South America. Insulae Salomonis is inserted (the first time the Solomon Islands are shown since they were discovered in 1568) and additional names including Cab. Mendocino added to the northwest coast. North America appears essentially as it did in the 1570 state with place names such as Apalchen & Sierra Neuada clearly visible.
“Ortelius's map, regarded as a 'keystone map', provides the best general picture of the settlement of the New World in the latter part of the 16th century: it is, in effect, the Renaissance view of America.” (Goss: The Mapping of North America, p.34).
This is the only one of the three plates signed by Ortelius (see lower right) as responsible for the preparation and engraving of the map - since this map represents his own original input, rather than being derivative of Mercator, as were the first two plates. A very important and handsome map.