Nice example of the earliest obtainable map of the World to include the name America.
While the majority of Fries maps were derived from Waldseemuller's 1513 edition of Ptolemy's Geographia this world map is prepared from different contemporary sources and is uniquely the work of Laurent Fries (bearing his initials L.F.) and prepared specially for his 1522 Geographia. The map incorporates directional lines crossing the map and an unusual frame of banners which include the names of the the winds, each looped with a coil of rope. England and Scotland are shown as separate islands. India is now a double peninsula. South America appears on the map, although largely based upon guesswork, as Magellan would not return to Europe from his circumnavigation until September 1522, several months after this map was first published. This example is from either a late 1522 or 1525 edition of Fries atlas. The telltale plate crack present in most examples of the map is visible, but the rhumblines and other features on either side of the crack are still well aligned, unlike the 1535 and 1541 editions. The plate strike is also very crisp by comparison to the later editions.
The map is highly sought after, being the first realistically obtainable map of the world to name America and in general a remarkable reflection of the ambiguities of the age of discovery.
Lorenz (Laurent) Fries (ca. 1485-1532) was born in Mulhouse, Alsace. He studied medicine, apparently spending time at the universities of Pavia, Piacenza, Montpellier and Vienna. After completing his education, Fries worked as a physician in several places, before settling in Strassburg, in about 1519. While in Strassburg, Fries met the Strasbourg printer and publisher Johann Grüninger, an associate of the St. Die group of scholars formed by, among others, Walter Lud, Martin Ringmann and Martin Waldseemuller.
From 1520 to 1525, Fries worked with Gruninger as a cartographic editor, exploiting the corpus of material that Waldseemuller had created. Fries' first venture into mapmaking was in 1520, when he executed a reduction of Martin Waldseemuller's wall-map of the World, published in 1507. While it would appear that Fries was the editor of the map, credit is actually given in the title to Peter Apian. The map, Tipus Orbis Universalis Iuxta Ptolomei Cosmographi Traditionem Et Americ Vespucii Aliorque Lustrationes A Petro Apiano Leysnico Elucubrat. An.o Dni MDXX, was issued in Caius Julius Solinus' Enarrationes, edited by Camers, and published in Vienna in 1520.
Fries next project was a new edition of the Geographia of Claudius Ptolemy, which was published by Johann Koberger in 1522. Fries evidently edited the maps, in most cases simply producing a reduction of the equivalent map from Waldseemuller's 1513 edition of the Geographie Opus Novissima, printed by Johann Schott. Fries also prepared three new maps for the Geographie: maps of South-East Asia and the East Indies, China, and the World, but the geography of these derives from Waldseemuller's world map of 1507.
The 1522 edition of Fries' work is very rare, suggesting that the work was not commercially successful. In 1525, an improved edition was issued, with a re-edit of the text by Wilibald Pirkheimer, from the notes of Johannes Regiomontanus. After Grüninger's death in 1531, the business was continued by his son Christoph, who seems to have sold the materials for the Ptolemy to two Lyon publishers, the brothers Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel, who published a joint edition in 1535, before Gaspar Trechsel published an edition in his own right in 1541.