World Map from Ptolemy’s ‘Geographia’
This world map is one of the earliest maps to show the New World.Full description »
This world map is one of the earliest maps to show the New World. In a commentary accompanying the map, Ruysch claimed to have sailed to the New World, thus making this map the first depicting the New World to have been made by a cartographer who actually travelled there. Only South America is shown on the map; the existence of a North American continent had not yet been realised. Spanish explorers fiercely guarded their knowledge of the New World and, as such, the representation of South America is fairly inaccurate.
'Map collectors like to celebrate their acquisition of ‘firsts.’ When museum founder, Dallas Pratt, bought a copy of the Ruysch World Map in 1958, he was justifiably delighted for it was a rarely available collector’s item, once celebrated as the first printed map to show parts of the New World only to be ‘pipped at the post’ by the discovery of a single copy of another map dated 1506.' Anne Armitage, Librarian and Editor (retired), AMIB