Fine example of this early state of Mercator's map of the World, first printed in Geneva in 1587.
The present map lacks text on the verso, suggesting a very early publication date, likley prior to 1595. The map shows the earliest signs of a crack in the copperplate, between the R's in the word "Terrae" in the title.
This is the only obtainable world map by Gerard Mercator, the greatest geographer of his era. Both his 1538 and 1569 world maps are unapproachable rarities.
The present work is a reduced version of the 1569 wall map of the world, on which the revolutionary Mercator Projection was introduced. Oddly, this folio version recast the map into a double-hemisphere format and did not employ the Mercator Projection. Gerhard Mercator died in 1594, the year before his first world atlas was published. It would be several decades before a world map on his Mercator's projection would appear in a commercial atlas. This fine piece of engraving, with elegant, strapwork ornamentation, of what was certainly the most important world map of the late 16th Century.
While later editions appear on the market with some frequency, these early states are scarce on the market.