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Martin Waldseemüller (c. 1475-1520) was a sixteenth-century cosmographer best known for his 1507 world map in twelve sheets, the earliest surviving map to include the name “America.”  He was an influential mapmaker during his time whose work affected many of his contemporaries and successors. Waldseemüller was born near Freiburg, in what is now northern Germany. His family moved to Freiburg proper when he was young and he attended university in the city beginning in 1490.

Waldseemüller gathered information about the New World discoveries and geography from St.-Dié des Vosges in Lorraine, where he was a professor of cosmography under the patronage of René II, Duke of Lorraine. He was a member of an intellectual circle who produced work from the St.-Dié Press. However, the press failed when the Duke died, and Waldseemüller moved to Strasbourg.

He is best known for the 1507 map and another world projection, the Carta Marina published in 1516. He also published an edition of Ptolemy in 1513, in collaboration with Johann Schott, a friend from Freiburg and St.-Dié. Besides his innovative use of the toponym “America”, Waldseemüller was the first to create such a large printed world map, the author of the earliest known printed globe gores, the first to create a published collection of modern maps, and one of the first to create maps from ground measurements. He was knowledgeable in surveying methods and designed a quadrant and other instruments. He returned to St.-Dié late in life as canon, although he continued to return to Strasbourg for work and for carnival. He died in St.-Dié in 1520.

Waldseemuller is generally credited with having named the continent of America, based upon the then current belief that Amerigo Vespucci had been the first modern explorer to reach the continent of America in 1497, during the first of four expeditions to America which were then credited to Vespucci between 1497 and 1504. The report which described the 1497 expedition is now generally believed to be a forgery. Later in his career, Waldseemüller elected not to use the toponym for the continents, preferring to leave them unnamed. However, the name had been taken up by his contemporaries, in large part due to the influential nature of Waldseemüller’s earlier works.

Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34669
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
23 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34680
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
37533
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
21.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
46141
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48110
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
24.25 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
53992
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
23 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
54759
Place/Date:
Strassbourg / 1513
Size:
22 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55210
Place/Date:
Strasburg / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60143
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
22.5 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64056

Archived

Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12705
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
21.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12706
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
23 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23797
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
24.25 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18708
Place/Date:
Strassburg / 1513
Size:
23 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18859
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
15 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20098
Place/Date:
Strassburg / 1513
Size:
22 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0043em
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24739
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25253
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
30177
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
33694
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
15 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
33884
Place/Date:
Strassbourg / 1513
Size:
22 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
40790
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
21 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34867
Place/Date:
Strassburg / 1513
Size:
22 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
36160
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37140mp2
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
21.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38163
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
22.7 x 17.3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
59114
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
15 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
42923
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1513
Size:
22 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45467
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
17.5 x 22.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
54208sh
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
22.7 x 17.3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60294
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
23 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
60293
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
15 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60555
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1513
Size:
23 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64178
Place/Date:
Lorraine / 1520
Size:
22 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
36514
Place/Date:
Strasbourg / 1525
Size:
16 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0552
Place/Date:
Lyon / 1535
Size:
18 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
8184
Place/Date:
Vienna / 1960 circa (or a bit later)
Size:
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56694