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Nice example of Bernadus Sylvanus' double cordiform map of the Modern World, published in Rome in 1511.

Sylvanus world map is one of the earliest obtainable modern maps of the World to include a portion of America, following the discovery of the New World by Columbus. Sylvanus's map is also the one of the earliest world maps printed in Venice and the first map printed in two colors.

Sylvanus's map is one of the first maps to show the newly discovered Americas, presenting a fascinating view of the post-Columbian world. South America is named "Terra Sanctae Crucis," with very large illustrations of the islands of Cuba and Hispanola. Further north is the island "terra laboratorus" and a region named "regalis domus", resulting from the Portuguese explorations of the Corte Real brothers in 1501, among the earliest appearance of the coast of Northeastern North America on a printed map.

On the opposite side of the map the island of "Zampagv" (Japan), appears for only the second time on a printed map. The first appearance being on the Contarini/Rosselli map of 1506 of which there is only one known copy.

The land masses are vigorously engraved with mountain ranges, rivers and placenames, and the map is surrounded by decorative windheads and signs of the zodiac.

The sides of the map are embellished with information on the climates and several zodiacal signs on the left side of the map. The British Isles, the Indian Peninsula, and Africa all reflect the work of modern cartographers. No longer does a strip of land connect the southern part of Africa with Asia. However, Sylvanus does not include the New World, as he does in his cordiform map of the same date which appeared in the same work.

Condition Description
Minor soiling. Image includes illustration of matting.
Shirley 31
Bernardus Sylvanus Biography

Bernardus Sylvanus (Bernardo Silvano) was born around 1465 in Eboli, a small agricultural town near Salerno in southern Italy. He began studying Ptolemy around 1490, when he was living in Naples. At this time he ran a print shop or studio, producing maps and codices. It was here that he produced his first edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia in 1490, which he dedicated to Andrea Matteo Acquaviva, the third Duke of Atri. For this edition Sylvanus used coordinates and text from Jacopo d’Angelo’s translation, and copied the maps from a Roman printed edition of either 1478 or 1490 (both printed from the same plates). Sylvanus’ 1511 Venice edition of the Geographia built on his prior work, but was groundbreaking in several regards. It was the only edition to add modern updates directly into Ptolemy’s maps, the only edition at the time to print maps on both sides of the leaf, the first edition printed in two colors, and the first Italian edition to use woodblocks. Nothing is known of Sylvanus’ life after the publication of this edition.