MUNSTER, Sebastian (1489-1552). La Figure du Monde Universel. Basel: Heinrich Petri, 1552-1568.
Single sheet, float-mounted and framed (sheet size: 12 x 15 inches; framed size: 21 x 24 4/8 inches). Fine woodcut map of the world by David Kandel, on an oval projection, the title above the map, showing North and South America bisected by water, the oceans decorated by one galleon and several sea monsters, all surrounded by an elaborate border of clouds and wind cherubs.
Munster first published his map of the world in the 1540 edition of his "Cosmographia", this new version of the map was first published in the 1550 edition by Munster's son-in-law Heinrich Petri, he issued French editions of this map in 1552, 1556, 1560 and 1568.
In 1540 Sebastian Munster, who was to become one of the most influential cartographers of the sixteenth century, published an important edition of Ptolemy's Geography, based on the Latin translation of Willibard Pirckheimer, that included for the first time a set of continental maps, in addition to a world map.
Munster studied Hebrew at Heidelberg and was a scholar of geography. He was one of the first to create space for the insertion of place-names in metal type within the woodblocks used to print his maps -- a major innovation in printing image and text together, which was one of the greatest challenges facing map publishers in the early days of printing. His "Cosmographia", ultimately translated into five languages and published in forty different editions, proved to be one of the most influential works dealing with geography in sixteenth century, and Munster's map became the most widely circulated contemporary delineation of the New World. Philip D. Burden, The Mapping of North America: A List of Printed Maps 1511-1670 (Rickmansworth, 1996), 15-17. Catalogued by Kate Hunter