Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip.

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
Old coloured map of the North Pole, North Atlantic. Printed in Antwerp in the year 1584.

More details

Reference 11436



Fascinating and important map of the North Atlantic by A. Ortelius in stunning original colours.

Showing Scandinavia, Siberia and the Arctic regions in the East, the British Isles with the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the South, the mythical islands of the North Atlantic (Frisland, Brasil, Drogeo and Icaria), Iceland, Greenland and the northwestern part of Canada.

Van den Broecke stated about this map:

When this map appeared it was probably the best one of the Scandinavian area so far. Note the fantasy islands Friesland and St. Brandain. Iceland and Greenland are very distorted and too near... Most likely, the brothers Johannes and Lucas van Doetecum were the engravers.

The cartographic sources of the map are the Mercator world map of 1569, the Zeno map of 1558 and the map of Scandinavia by Olaus Magnus 1539. From the 1584 Latin edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Latin text on verso.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleSeptentrionalium Regionum Descrip.
Publisher, YearAntwerp, 1584
Plate Size36.2 x 49.4 cm (14.3 x 19.4 inches)
Sheet Size41.0 x 52.1 cm (16.1 x 20.5 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 160


Larger tear right to lower centrefold backed. An area of ~ 7 x 30 mm right to lower centrefold restored and redrawn. With beautiful original old colouring.


Abraham Ortelius was born 1527 in Antwerp. He studied mathematics, Greek and Latin and travelled a lot across Europe. He established a business in dealing with books and drawing maps. His first remarkable map was a 8 sheet world map in the year 1564, but only three copies have survived. In 1570 he issued the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern Atlas with uniformly sized maps in a systematic collection. The term Atlas was not used until Mercator introduced it 20 years later. Most of the maps in Theatrum have been engraved by Frans Hogenberg. At the time of publication, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Nevertheless it was a big success and around 7000 copies have been printed until 1612 in many editions and six different languages. Beside the Theatrum, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps and published it in the Parergon Theatri which was bound with the Theatrum from 1579 onwards or published separately.

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Abraham Ortelius: Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip..
Old coloured map of the North Pole, North Atlantic. Printed in Antwerp in the year 1584.

Scandinavia - Ortelius, Abraham - Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip.

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