Folio (13 4/8 x 8 inches). Woodcut printer's device on title-page and last leaf, LARGE WOODCUT FOLDING MAP (washed and folds and one or two closed tears restored on verso), wood-engravings in the text (last leaves spotted and wormed). 18th-century tan panelled sheep (worn with loss at the extremities).
Provenance: with the near contemporary ownership inscription of Paul v. Vallis on the title-page; the early ownership inscription of Godofridus Gilkens, dated the 16th of August 1596 also on the title-page; with the printed book label of Sergei Sobolewski (1803-1870) on the front paste-down, and his extensive notes on the front endpapers, his sale List & Francke, 1873, lot 4004; with the printed library label of the celebrated Chilean historian Diego Barros Arana (1830-1907) also on the front paste-down; and the leather library label of G.J. Avanitidi below.
Fourth and most complete edition containing more accounts of the New World than previous editions (first published Basel, 1532). 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 map is identical to that in the first edition of 1532, except for slight variations in type and text, this the issue with "Tropicus Capricorni" printed above 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). Beginning 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). Additions to the present edition include the second and third Cortez letters, letters on propagation of the Gospel among Indians, epistle of Bishop of Temixtitan in "Huketan," and the summary of Herborn's discourse on the conversion of the Indians. Adams G-1338; Brunet IV, 132: "...la plus complete [edition]"; Sabin 34104; Shirley 67n. Catalogued by Kate Hunter