Albanian God on the top of the world map from year 1553
This is one of the earliest obtainable maps to show a complete, although very narrowed, outline for the entire New World.
A very rare map that intends to show the entire world ( the globe) in detail designed in the 16th century has placed the Albanians not only at the top, but also as the leading roles within it. The top of the map illustrated with humans shows them as gods, the only leading and magnificent figure is an Albanian, a portrait that resembles the figure of Skanderbeg slightly, on his chest is the iconic two-headed black eagle that is painted onto his armor, which is the traditional Albanian kilt (Fustanelle) that covers most of the body in red, and clarifies or identifies what has to do with Albanian people.
A scarce and interesting woodblock map on a truncated cordiform (heart – shaped) projection surrounded by a vividly engraved border of windheads, mythical figures and clouds. Amongst these gargoyle images are three cadaverous heads blowing the supposedly plague – carrying southerly winds.
The map is said to have been based on one, now lost, by Gemma Frisius and was published in Peter Apian’s “Cosmographia Cum Ventorum Propria Natura Et Operavione”. Three very similar woodblock versions of the map are noted, the first published in 1544 with this being the second, identified by the addition of names for Europe, England and Scotland.
The second state of this World map which first appeared in the 1544 in Apian’s Cosmographia, which was based on a larger map of the world prepared by Gemma Frisius in 1540 in Louvain, of which there is no known example according to Shirley (Entry 82).
The map includes a Northwest passage, above which is a fascinating Asian projection. North America, called Baccalearum for its Cod fisheries. The narrow Straits of Magellan represent the only passage between South America and an understated Southern Continent.
The map is embellished by sea monsters, mermaids, windheads, etc. An excellent example of a cordiform world map. Shirley 96. Wide margins, perfectly repaired areas of about 8 squar cm in the Pacific, else a nice example.
Anversa Antwerpen R. W. Shirley, “The Mapping of the world”, 96 275 190
Title: Charta Cosmographica, Cum Ventorum Propria Natura Et Operavione . . .
Map Maker: Gemma Frisius & Peter Apian
Place / Date: Antwerp / 1553
Coloring: Hand Colored
Size: 11 x 7.5 inches