19th Century Lithographic Copy of the First Modern Map of Switzerland
Fine example of this rare 19th century lithographic copy of the second edition of Aegidius Tschudi's 9 sheet map of Switzerland, published by Sebastian Munster in 1560, and drawn from a manuscript example of Aegidius Tschudi's map of Switzerland.
Publish in Zurich in 1883 by Hofer & Burger, these map is a photo-lithographic original of the only known surviving example of the 9 sheet original. First printed in 1538, neither the first edition of this map, nor the original Tschudi manuscript have survived to modern times.
Aegidius Tschudi (1505–1572), known foremost as a historian, is considered to be one of the pioneers of Swiss cartography. In 1528, he drew a map of Switzerland which is the earliest known map of the the whole of region. The map survived in manuscript form until 1538. when it was published with the printed title of Nova Rhaetiae atque totius Helvetiae descriptio by Munster. The map survives only in a single example of the second edition, which was printed in 1560, from which this facsimile is drawn.
Tschudi's map was the first time the entire area of what was later known as Switzerland was shown on a single map. For more than half a century, the map was considered the best representation of the area and was therefore recut or re-engraved many times.
Tschudi produced his map of Switzerland in part based on his own harrowing expeditions through the Alps. Tschudi gave a manuscript version to his former teacher Heinrich Glarean, who in turn passed it on to Sebastian Münster, who printed a woodcut version of the map. A friend of Tschudi's, Jost von Meggen brought one of Münster's two woodcut editions of the map to Rome when he was appointed head of the Papal Guards in 1546 (Karrow pp.547-550). At some point, the map found its way to the workshop of Antonio Salamanca, who produced this edition, which was later copied by Antonio Lafreri.