|Published||M. Merian Sculp. [Frankfurt, c.1640]|
|Dimensions||270 x 355 mm|
A fine and scarce seventeenth century map of India and the East Indies, based on the Blaeu map of the region. The map stretches from Persia in the West to China and Japan in the East, with considerable detail given to the Spice Islands. Sailing ships and sea monsters populate the seas, and a pair of figures in poetic 'Eastern' dress flank the title cartouche. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the map is the early mapping of parts of Western and Northern Australia, which appears as two separate coastlines, showing 'Eendrachtsland' and the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula. The latter is tentatively joined to an elongated New Guinea.
Matthäus Merian the Elder (22 September 1593 - 19 June 1650) was a Swiss engraver born in Basel. Beginning his career in Zürich where he learned the art of copperplate engraving, Merian went on to study and work in various cities throughout France. In 1615, Merian returned to Basel. His return to Basel, however, was short lived, moving to Frankfurt the following year to work for the publisher Johann Theodor de Bry. Merian later married de Bry's daughter. He was also the father of Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the greatest natural history artists of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Condition: Central vertical fold as issued. Some foxing to sheet, mostly confined to margins. Blank on verso.