Antique woodcut map of the world. Printed in Venice between 1528 and 1565.

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Reference 12192



Early woodcut world map by Benedetto Bordone. The world map of Bordone combines geographical information from Ptolemy with new discoveries of the Portuguese seafarers. It is one of only a few world maps prior to Sebastian Münster's map of the world that is still occasionally available on the market.

For a long time, this map was considered the first use of an oval projection on a printed world map. However, an earlier world map of 1508 by Francesco Rosselli, which exists only in a few copies, is also based on an oval projection. It could have served as a template for this map, but whereas Rosselli showed North America as part of Asia, Bordone leaves the west coast of both Americas undelineated. The position of Japan is surprisingly exact for this time and was probably taken from the travelogue of Marco Polo.

From Libro di Benedetto Bordone... de tutte l'isole del mondo..., more commonly known as Isolario of Bordone, which first appeared in Venice in 1528. Three further editions followed in 1534, 1547 and 1565. The maps of all four editions were printed from the same woodblocks in Venice.


CartographerBenedetto Bordone
Title[World map]
Publisher, YearVenice, 1528-1565
Plate Size21.3 x 38.2 cm (8.4 x 15.0 inches)
Sheet Size30.0 x 41.0 cm (11.8 x 16.1 inches)
ReferenceShirley, R. W.: The Mapping of the World, No. 59


Small tears in lower margin, minor staining. Very good condition.


Benedetto Bordone was an Italian cartographer, chart- and mapmaker who worked in Venice during the beginning of the 16th century. He is best known for his Isolario, a geographical, historical and cultural description of the islands of the Mediterranean and the world, which first appeared in 1528. The genre Isolario was very popular in Italy at that time and was intended as an illustrated guide for sailors. Bordone also describes new discoveries in South and North America for the first time in an Isolario. The book contains a record of Pizarro's conquest of Peru, the earliest known printed report of the event. Of particular interest are 12 woodcut maps of America and the earliest map of Japan as an island printed in Europe.

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Benedetto Bordone: [World map].
Antique woodcut map of the world. Printed in Venice between 1528 and 1565.

World Maps - Bordone, Benedetto - [World map]

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