THE FIRST EUROPEAN PRINTED MAP OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
India Orientalis. From the 1535 edition of Ptolemy’s Geography, published in Lyon by M. & G. Treschel.
Black and white woodcut, 12-1/4” x 16-3/4”. Fine condition.
“This is the first printed map of European origin devoted to Southeast Asia and its islands, and as such is a cartographical landmark, codifying the recognition of Southeast Asia as a distinct entity” (Suarez).
“The woodcut borders and ornaments which surround the descriptions [on the back] are supposed by some critics to be the work of Hans Holbein and graf of Basle” (Eames).
This is one of three original maps added to Fries’s editions of Ptolemy. It is loosely adapted from the corresponding part of Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 world map and shows an area roughly corresponding to the Malay Peninsula, Indochina and the East Indies. Numerous notations and details based upon Marco Polo have been added to the various landmasses.
Lorenz Friez settled in Strasbourg about 1519 where he became acquainted with Johann Gruninger, who is believed to have supervised the cutting of the woodblocks for Waldseemuller’s 1513 edition of the Geography. Fries and Gruninger collaborated on a new edition with reduced versions of Waldseemuller’s maps. The first edition appeared in 1522, with a second in 1525. With the 1535 edition, a title banner was added at the top of the maps.
Nordenskiold, Facsimile Atlas, fig. 62 (1522 ed.); Suarez, Early Mapping of Southeast Asia, pp. 114-118, fig. 62 (1522 ed.); Phillips, Atlases, 364.
Inventory No. 8226