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Stock# 86736

Fine Example of the First Paris Edition of Huttich and Grynaeus's Important Geography.

With the First Edition of The First Double Cordiform World Map; One of The Earliest Maps To Mention Magellan.

Rare and desirable example of the 1532 Paris edition of Novus Orbis Regionum. . ., including the important French Renaissance scholar Oronce Fine's first world map.

Grynaeus and Huttich's work is considered to be one of the most influential collections of travel literature from the early 16th century and encompasses some of the most important accounts of discovery from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. In this Paris edition, the accounts of Colombus and Vespucci are relayed, and the travel writings of such influential historians as Peter Martyr are recounted. This is reflected in the cutting-edge world map, in which recent discoveries are shown and Magellan's name appears associated with the Pacific for one of the first times.

This edition of the book derives from the Basel edition, also of 1532. The Basel edition features the less-cutting edge, but interestingly decorated, Munster-Holbein map.

The Double-Cordiform World Map

Oronce Fine's double cordiform map of the world is one of the most striking and influential maps of the world published in the 16th century. The map, unsurprisingly for such a map designed to accompany a travel account, is remarkably novel in its cartography. It is one of the first maps to refer to the Pacific as the Magellanic Sea and also one of the first maps to reflect the explorations of Cortez. The map was also instrumental in popularizing the double-cordiform projection.

Shirley says of the map that:

The eminent French cartographer Oronce Fine prepared this double-cordiform map: a rendering considerably in advance of any others printed earlier. . . .

Fine's map is a detailed woodcut, geographically much superior to the large oval map by Sebastian Münster-Hans Holbein in the Basle editions. Much of the right-hand (or southern) cordum is taken up with the new Terra Australis, noted as being 'recently discovered but not yet explored.' Beyond the tip of South America is marked the Mare magellanicum, one of the first uses of the navigator's name in such a context. Central America contains numerous place names reflecting the conquests and explorations of Cortez in the early 1520s, but further north Fine has unambiguously made the North America continent part of the eastern extremity of Asia. Four islands make up the north polar regions. The separate island of Greenland is named, and a large promontory marked Gaccalar (supposedly Labrador) extends from the North American land mass into the Atlantic.

There is a detailed floral surround to the map, two mermaids, two muscular cherubs, the French royal coat of arms and, at the head of the map, the title in a flowing banner. Oronce Fine's map is one that deserved enlargement on to two sheets. Unfortunately, in many cases the margins of surviving copies are badly frayed as after folding once for insertion into the book they were still too wide for the binding.

Based on sophisticated geometric principles for reducing the spherical earth to a two-dimensional image, Fine's depiction of the World became a model for the next several decades, before the more popular oval formats, double-hemispheric maps, and ultimately Mercator's projection would become the primary means of mapping the world, although none more distinctive than of Fine's double-cordiform

The first state, which is the only state to bear Oronce Fine's name, is particularly rare and desirable. It is this state that is included in the present work.

Oronce Fine

Fine was born in Briançon in 1944 in a family with a penchant for astronomy. Fine studied in Paris at the College de Navarre, but was imprisoned in 1524 for unknown reasons. The period was tumultuous, being in the middle of the Italian wars and during a period in which the University of Paris was opposed to the Concordat agreed to between the Pope and French king, so the reasons proposed for his imprisonment are many.

By 1531, he had evidently regained favor, as he is noted as having been paid for giving lectures on mathematics as part of the lecteurs royaux, an interesting project supported by François I himself that opened French higher education to all classes. Students ranged from low social groups to members of the king's own court. Alongside Fine's mathematics lectures, there were lectures on theology, Hebrew, Greek, and an array of other subjects.

Fine's publications start as early as 1515 (at the age of 21) and Hillard and Poulle record 103 titles published over his lifetime. They mainly centered around astronomy, but also encompassed mathematics and geography. One of his most read works was his De mundi sphaera, an astronomy textbook, while his most important contribution to academics may be his Protomathesis, which introduced new practical and theoretical mathematics to a French audience.

Fine's maps were among the finest of the 16th century. Apart from his famous double-cordiform map included in the 1532 Paris edition of the Novus Orbis Regionium, he also produced an exceedingly rare single-cordiform map. He also produced the first map of France prepared and printed in France.


[Initial Blank]; αi - Γvi; δviii; [woodcut map]; ai - zvi; Ai - Tvi; Vviii.


The first edition of the book complete with the Fine world map is rare on the market. We trace no examples of this book appearing at auction since 2010.

Condition Description
Quarto. Early 20th-century blind-tooled calf by G. Huser. Spine with raised bands and six compartments, with second compartment reading "GRYNAEUS | NOVUS ORBIS" and third compartment reading "1532". With large woodcut folding map. Left and right edges trimmed within 1/2" of neatline, as is almost always the case with the map. Hinges just starting, minor bumping, spine lightly sunned. αi - [αvi]; [Dvi] and [Svi] with corners reinstated. Small repaired tear to [lzv] and [Dvi].
The History of Cartography, Volume 3: Cartography in the European Renaissance, Part 2
How did Oronce Fine draw his large map of France?
Shirley 66.