|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Dimensions||260 x 355 mm|
A fine seventeenth century map of the world on Mercator's Projection, from Merian's Theatrum Europaeum. Sea coasts and country borders are outlined in hand colour, and the map is further embellished by a number of full and partial compass roses, as well as numerous sailing ships and sea monsters. In the bottom left and right corners, roundels show the north and south polar regions. In the top left, much of modern day Canada is left unmapped, a large note about Columbus and the discovery of the New World occupying the space instead. At the bottom of the map, a giant putative Magellanica encompasses Antarctica and Australasia, though the Tierra del Fuego is separated from the land mass by a broken line. New Guinea is partially mapped, though joined rather than depicted as an island, while California is shown correctly as a peninsula.
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. Marginal tear to bottom right of sheet, not affecting plate or map.