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1537 Sebastian Munster - Simon Grynaeus
On Hold
Description

Nice example of the Grynaeus / Munster map of the World, from the 1537 editon of Novus Orbis Regionum, which includes fine border illustrations engraved by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Ronald Shirley note:

No imprint appears on this large and decorative map . . .which was first printed in the 1532 edition of the Novus Orbis Regionum by Johann Huttich and Simon Grynaeus. Sebastian Munster contributed a long introduction Typi Cosmographici et Declarato et usus to their collection of voyages, and there have been arguments for and against his authorship of the accompanying map. It seems more probable that the map itself is Munster's whereas the decor is more frequently attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger . . .
Geographically the map . . . was probably prepared prior to 1532 based partly upon . . . the Schoner Globes, or on Apian's map of 1520. . . The projection follows the oval one of Bordone, with two cherubs energetically turning crank handles at the north and south poles.

The map is one of the most decorative and sought after of all early world maps which are reasonably obtainable to most collectors, owing to the tremendous success of the Huttich-Grynaeus text.


Condition Description
Narrow margins. Tiny loss at lower corners. The book is bound in original blind stamped pigskin, one clasp present. Fine clean example.
Reference
Shirley 67.
Sebastian Munster Biography

Sebastian Münster (1488-1552) was a cosmographer and professor of Hebrew who taught at Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Basel. He settled in the latter in 1529 and died there, of plague, in 1552. Münster made himself the center of a large network of scholars from whom he obtained geographic descriptions, maps, and directions.

As a young man, Münster joined the Franciscan order, in which he became a priest. He then studied geography at Tübingen, graduating in 1518. He moved to Basel, where he published a Hebrew grammar, one of the first books in Hebrew published in Germany. In 1521 Münster moved again, to Heidelberg, where he continued to publish Hebrew texts and the first German-produced books in Aramaic. After converting to Protestantism in 1529, he took over the chair of Hebrew at Basel, where he published his main Hebrew work, a two-volume Old Testament with a Latin translation.

Münster published his first known map, a map of Germany, in 1525. Three years later, he released a treatise on sundials. In 1540, he published Geographia universalis vetus et nova, an updated edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia. In addition to the Ptolemaic maps, Münster added 21 modern maps. One of Münster’s innovations was to include one map for each continent, a concept that would influence Ortelius and other early atlas makers. The Geographia was reprinted in 1542, 1545, and 1552.  

He is best known for his Cosmographia universalis, first published in 1544 and released in at least 35 editions by 1628. It was the first German-language description of the world and contained 471 woodcuts and 26 maps over six volumes. Many of the maps were taken from the Geographia and modified over time. The Cosmographia was widely used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The text, woodcuts, and maps all influenced geographical thought for generations.