MERCATOR, Rumold (c. 1545-1599). Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio. [Duisberg:] 1587 [but 1595].
Engraved double-hemisphere map of the world, 287 x 518mm, with integral letterpress text below, overall approximately 443 x 592mm. The title and date set in a banner along upper margin, the map with decorative strapwork background, compass rose and armillary sphere, the letterpress text in Latin in four columns with the heading 'De Mundi creatione ac constitutione brevis instructio', the paper with three deckle edges. (Some light discolouration along old vertical centrefold, old guard on verso, old unobtrusive folds along three sides.)
A very fine and rare separately issued world map by Rumold Mercator adapted from the celebrated world map of his father, Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594), published at Duisberg in 1569. Although his work was already celebrated by the time his world map appeared, Gerhard Mercator's 'lasting fame rests upon his world map of 1569' (Shirley, p. 137). Strikes taken from the copperplate from which the present map was printed, first appeared in Strabo's Geographia in the edition published by Isaac Caauabon at Geneva in 1587. Below the map was a letterpress text in Latin headed 'Lectori S.P.'. Although this differs from the present copy, a feature of the cartobibliographical history of this map is the many forms in which the letterpress appeared over the following forty years. The present map was not actually intended for publication by Casaubon (1559-1614), but rather for Mercator's Atlas, the first edition of which was published posthumously in 1595 by his son, Rumold Mercator. Koeman has identified four principal versions of the letterpress text, of which the present copy corresponds with Rumold Mercator's first issue of this map in the first edition of the third part Mercator's Atlas. The first edition was in print for a short period only, being quickly superseded by another edition of the Atlas the same year. Although this map was published to be part of an atlas, it 'may have been issued separately as well as being printed at Duisberg in the third and final part of Mercator's Atlas' (Shirley, p. 179). Shirley 157; Koeman Me12 (I).