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Lorenz Fries:  Oceani Occidentalis Seu Terrae Novae Tabula [The Admiral's Map]

Atlantic Ocean Maps

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Title: Oceani Occidentalis Seu Terrae Novae Tabula [The Admiral's Map]

Map Maker: Lorenz Fries

Place / Date: Strasbourg / 1522 (1535)

Coloring: Uncolored

Size: 15 x 11 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $12,500.00

Inventory ID: 40470


Beautifully colored example of Lorenz Fries reduced version of Waldseemuller’s map of 1513, which is often referred to as The Admiral’s map. 

The Waldseemuller prototype was the first printed atlas map to focus on the New World. Waldseemuller’s map is preceded only by the small map of the Spanish Main by Peter Martyr in Seville, 1511, which is virtually unobtainable. Fries supplements the work of Waldseemuller with an inscription about Columbus not found in the 1513 version of the map and adds vignettes of Indians and a possum, which he borrowed from Waldseemuller’s World Map of 1516.

The map shows a continuous coastline between North and South America, with the massive east-west coastline of South America being the map's single largest feature, extending south to approximately the Rio de la Plata lies. In the Caribbean, the islands of Cuba (named Isabella Ins. after Queen Isabella of Spain), Hispaniola (Spgnoha), and Puerto Rico (Boriguem) are shown, along with numerous other islands. A Spanish flag is shown planted in Cuba. Continuing north, North America is plotted to beyond the mouth of the St. Lawrence; at the correct latitude of the St. Lawrence there is a river named Caninor, quite possibly the St. Lawrence. This region had almost certainly been already explored by various Bristol expeditions. In all, over 15 place names are shown on the North American coastline, drawn primarily from Portuguese sources, including the Cantino portolano of 1502 and the Caveri of c. 1505.

The representations of Florida pre-dates any recorded European contact, as does the mapping of the Gulf of Mexico prior Pineda’s voyage of 1519, suggesting Waldseemuller had access to the reports of unrecorded voyages prior to 1513. Both Waldseemuller and Fries credit Columbus in annotations on the map. Waldseemuller had previously credited Amerigo Vespucci with the discovery of America and was apparently trying to correct this error. In the text to his 1513 edition of Ptolemy, Waldseemuller refers to the Admiral as the source of the map. While it has been generally assumed that this is a reference to Columbus, it is much more likely that it references Cavieri’s map of 1505, which according to Henry Stevens had been sent out for engraving. A copy of the Cavieri exists in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Lorenz Fries work was of great importance.  Among his most important accomplishments, it was his sketch of the original 1507 Waldseemuller World Map which was copied by Peter Apian in Apian's World Map of 1520, which for more than 100 years was believed to be the oldest surviving map to name America, prior to the re-discovery of the original 1507 Waldseemuller map at the beginning of the 20th Century.

There are four states of the map, all of which can be distinguished by the text on the verso:

  • 1522 - TABVLA TER. NOVAE
  • 1525 - Oceani occidetalis Seu Terre Noue TABVLA
  • 1541 - Tabula terrae nouae

References: Burden 4.

Related Categories:
Maps of America
Maps of America
Maps of North America
Atlantic Ocean Maps