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16 Mar, 2015 18:58:51 GMT
US $22,500.00
Approximately £15,533.31(including postage)
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Enschede, Netherlands

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Item specifics

Binding: Fine Binding Origin: European
Subject: Illustrated Year Printed: 1543
Special Attributes: Illustrated


L]e premier volume || de la mer des histoires. || Auquel & le second ensuyuãt || Est contenu tant du vieil testament que du nouueau toutes les || Hystoires / Actes et Faictz dignes de memoire / puis la || creation du Monde iusques en lan Mil cinq || cens. .xliii. selon la cotte & datte des ans

[LES ANGELIERS frame] 1543


LARGE FOLIO 33 cm (13 inch). FIRST BOOK [12] I-CCLVIII, SECOND BOOK [4]  I-CCIV. 19th century binding. Leather spine with marble boards.


A very pleasing clean copy. A few small tears in some of the pages. Worldmap is in perfect condition (40 cm x 32.5 cm) The Holy map is slightly trimmed on the left and the right side.


This is an illustrated historical encyclopedia in Latin, one of the earliest printed universal chronicles. The Rudimentum Novitiorum as the work is called in Latin, was first printed in Lübeck by Lucas Brandis as his most ambitious work. It runs to 475 pages, richly illustrated with more than 150 woodcuts. The account starts with the creation of the world and ends with the year 1473, with the usual subdivision into the six aetates. It presents a synopsis of Christ's ancestors, of Jewish high priests, judges and Biblical rulers and of Roman Emperors

It was printed in French, in 1491 and is considered one of the most extensively illustrated French incunables. La Mer des histoires ( A sea of stories) This Rudimentum combines secular and ecclesiastical history, ancient history and pagan mythology; twenty-nine Aesop's Fables are incorporated into the "Fifth Age". The French translation contains additional material on the kings of France and is accompanied by a martyrology by Usardus.

In Latin edition the world map is identical, only much bigger in size, making it more valuable. The 1475 edition sold over 1 miljon dollars.


This French edition was printed in 1543. It contains, the worldmap and the map of the Holy land, and is complete. Numerous woodcut illustrations in text, one full-page, one of the crucifixion 3/4-page, many full-page woodcut genealogical tables.

The worldmap in this book, is the FIRST printed world map EVER! Asia is at the top, Europe and Africa below the diameter where Asia ends. Paradise is located in the far east, with the four rivers issuing forth from the Garden of Eden and flowing through the lands of the earth. The Holy Land is in the center of the map with the Pillars of Hercules at the bottom.

The map seems to focus on the large continental divisions rather than on the exact geographical relationship between places. Thus the cartographer wanted the readers to know that Alexandria was in Africa, Persia was in Asia, and Venice belonged to Europe, rather than to give the precise location of each place. The placement of countries within their respective division of the world often seems to be based on other factors than distance and direction. Thus Rome is placed near the center of Europe, and Carthage occupies the similar position of honor in Africa The inclusion of places from Biblical history, classical times, and mythology emphasize that the function of the map was not to provide a picture of the world as it was in 1475. Rather the map presented an interesting view of the world with some essential things that a beginning student should know about it. This is why the book is called in Latin, a Handbook for beginners.

The 1475 map of the Holy Land however is regarded as the first modern printed map because it is not derived from a classical source (Ptolemy), nor is it in the circular schematic format characteristic of medieval maps. It does  retains two attributes of earlier maps: it is "oriented" with east at the top, and Jerusalem is at the center. The geographic information is taken largely from a now lost manuscript map made two centuries earlier by a Dominican pilgrim, Burchard of Mt. Sion. In this bird's-eye view, topographic features are portrayed with reasonable accuracy, and cities and regions are depicted as stylized hills.


There is a somewhat earlier edition in the trade for 37.500 $. At Reiss and Sohn the worldmap alone (from the 1537 Dupre edition) was auctioned for 17.000 Euro.

This map is identical (also in size) to the one depicted  here. Please note, that paypal does not give you buyers protection for this amount. But guess what, I have something far better, my word!

You can return this item in 15 days if not happy. I do not work under the margin scheme. Thus customers from the EU have to pay 6%, unless they have a valid VAT number.

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