AN EARLY PRINTED MAP OF CENTRAL ASIA
Octava Asiae Tabvla. From the Sylvanus edition of Ptolemy’s Geography. Venice
Black and white woodcut with place names printed from moveable type in red. Some browning in the upper margin at the centerfold, otherwise near fine condition.
This map shows the obscure region that stretches from northwestern China (Sinkiang) and Tibet east to the Russian Steppe (“Scythia”). The northern boundary of India is at the lower edge of the map.
This is one of the most interesting early editions of Ptolemy’s Geography. It is one of the first examples of two-color printing, with place names in red printed from moveable type inserted into the woodblock. The atlas appeared in just one edition which accounts for its rarity.
Inventory No. 8052