Folio (11 4/8 x 7 6/8 inches). Woodcut printer's device on title-page and last leaf, LARGE WOODCUT FOLDING MAP (one fold partially strengthened on the verso at an early date), one or two wood-engravings in the text, 8- 6- and 5-line historiated initials (some pale marginal staining to early leaves, light and occasional spotting and browning). Contemporary vellum over paste-board, title in manuscript at the head of the spine and with later red morocco lettering-piece below (a bit stained, extremities scuffed); preserved in a green morocco backed slipcase and chemise.
Provenance: early marginal annotations throughout; 19th-century pencilled annotations in French to title-page; late 19th-century catalogue entry laid down on the front paste-down; from the library of B. Mendel copy, with his leather library label on the front paste-down, sold as a Lilly Library duplicate at Parke-Bernet, November 8, 1962; with leather library label of Marvin Carton, his sale Sotheby's, February 2nd, 1985, lot 55, $4,400
First edition, with the celebrated world map "Typus cosmographicus universalis", with an ANGEL AT EACH POLE WITH A CRANK TO TURN THE WORLD ON ITS AXIS which at the time of the first edition was a visual representation of Copernican theory predating by 11 years publication of his "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium", the issue with "Asia" printed in large letters, and "Tropicus Capricorni" printed on the tropical line. Shirley attributes the cartography of this map to Münster and the border decoration to Holbein, who was working with several Basel publishers at the time. It is of particular interest especially for its "richness of artistic decoration" (Shirley).
The work contains accounts of the voyages of Cadamosto, the three voyages of Columbus, Nino, Pinzon, Vespucius, Cabral, and part of the Fourth Decade of Peter Martyr, "also many other pieces which do not relate to America" (Sabin). Begining with Madrignano's latin version of the "Paesi novamente retrovati", and followed by ten accounts, all of which had been previously published except the second, they include Vespucci's letter to Piero Soderinin Gonfalonier of Florence, recording his four voyages which was first published in 1507 as an appendix to Waldseemuller's "Cosmographiae Introductio"; the first publication of a letter from King Manuel of Portugal to Leo X relating the conquest of Malacca and the relief of Goa by Albuquerque; Madrignano's Latin translation of the "Itinerario" of Ludovico di Varthema, printed Rome 1510; Brocardus's description of the Holy Land; the travels of Marco Polo; the travels of Hayton the Armenian; a description of Russia by Matthias of Miechow first published in Cracow in 1517; another description of Russia by Paolo Giovio, first published in Rome 1525; Peter the Martyr's Fourth Decade, fist published in Basel in 1521; and an account of the antiquities of Prussia by Erasmuns Stella, also Basel 1510 (Modern Language Review, volume II, 1907). Adams G-1334: Sabin 34100; Shirley 67 (world map). Catalogued by Kate Hunter