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Maris Pacifici quod vulgo Mar del Zur

Object type

Object number

Double-page coloured engraved map. The map is titled "MARIS PACIFICI" and it depicts north and south America and Pacific islands, including New Guinea, the Phillipines, Japan and Australia. On the reverse is a page of black printed Latin text titled "MARE PACIFICVM". The map has a vertical fold line down the middle.

Collection name
Maris Pacifici Map collection

Collection statement of significance
The Maris Pacifici Map Collection consists of one hand-coloured engraved map of the Pacific, printed in Antwerp in 1595 for Abraham Ortelius' atlas, 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum'. The map has Latin text and is in good condition.

'Maris Pacifici' was the first published map of the Pacific Ocean and reveals the limited knowledge of the region gained from Magellan's initial voyage of discovery in 1519 and the subsequent voyages up the west coast of the Americas. Large cartouches obscure the southern and northern portions of the map, covering those areas about which least was known and providing spaces for continuing speculation about the existence of a Great South Land and a North West passage. When James Cook embarked on the first of his three Pacific voyages in 1768, the maps at his disposal contained little additional information to that found in the 'Maris Pacifici', and the charting of the southern and northern Pacific, still unknown nearly 250 years after Magellan's voyage, would be his aim.

Abraham Ortelius

Franz Hogenberg

Christoffel Plantijn

Place of publication
Antwerp, Belgium

Date of publication

Place depicted

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Papua New Guinea

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Pacific Ocean

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North America

Place depicted
Caribbean Sea

Place depicted
South America

Paper, Ink

Width: 559mm
Height: 431mm
Depth: 1mm

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