Antique Atlas Astounds with Color and Detail

LONDON.- Daniel Crouch Rare Books, leading specialist in rare maps and atlases, exhibited two fine and rare cartographic works at the Miami International Map Fair; by Ptolemy, and Jesuit monk Ferdinand Verbiest. Art collectors of ArtKabinett network would certainly prefer owning of these these historic source documents to downloading the latest iPhone GPS app.

Verbiest, (known as Nan Huairen in Chinese) was a Flemish Jesuit missionary in China, who became a close friend and aid to the Kangxi Emperor.

Verbiest was highly skilled in astronomy, mathematics, and geometry, and successfully introduced European astronomy to China. Daniel Crouch exhibited his ‘Wall Map of the Western Hemisphere’ (1674) ($130,000) – one of the largest maps of the western hemisphere ever printed.

It combines Chinese and European cartographic knowledge of the globe at that time. Panels of Chinese characters offer geographical information and even non-Chinese place-names are written in Chinese characters, either as phonetic conversions or by translating the meaning of the name.

The 1511 Venetian edition of Ptolemy’s ‘Geographia’ ($280,000, shown here) is the first atlas wholly printed in colors, and incorporates the first printed map to indicate Japan. The large cordiform world map is the earliest of its kind, and this is only the second Ptolemaic world map to show America.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books is a specialist dealer in antique atlases, maps, plans, sea charts and voyages dating from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Miami International Map Fair is an annual event showcasing antique maps, rare books, panoramas and atlases from around the world. It is always held the first week in February. Typically, the fair attracts the finest map dealers in the world, and hosts a series of lectures by experts in the field.