[Schedel's World Map - Secunda etas mundi - Folium xiii]

Hartmann Schedel (*1440 - 1514)
Incunabulum woodcut world map by Hartmann Schedel. Published 1497 by Johann Schönsperger in Augsburg.

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Reference 12677



Scarce Incunabulum Woodcut Map of the World Printed in 1497.

Early Ptolemaic woodcut world map by Hartmann Schedel. A reduced version of the world map from Schedel's World Chronicle, printed in the 15th century and published by Johann Schönsperger in Augsburg in 1497. This makes it one of earliest obtainable world maps today. From the first Latin edition of the so-called "Small Schedel" by Schönsperger, which is far rarer than the preceding large folio editions published by Koberger in Nuremberg. The most richly illustrated incunabulum ever, first appeared in Latin in July 1493 and in the German translation six months later. Our map is from Schönsperger's pirated edition, a kind of vernacular edition containing smaller scaled reproductions of the Nuremberg illustrations. Two more German editions appeared in 1496 and 1500.

Though only about a quarter of the size of the original, this world map from 1497 contains almost as much details. Only the left panel with the strange creatures has been omitted. The map shows the known world at that time and is based on Ptolemy's description from the second century AD. The border contains twelve dour windheads, in three of its corners are the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, who according to the Old Testament were to re-inhabit the earth after the destruction of mankind by the Flood. The New World (America) first appeared on a printed world map about 10 years later. In the 1506 world map by Giovanni Conarini, of which only one surviving example is known.


CartographerHartmann Schedel
Title[Schedel's World Map - Secunda etas mundi - Folium xiii]
Publisher, YearJohann Schönsperger, Augsburg, February 1497
Plate Size10.2 x 14.7 cm (4.0 x 5.8 inches)
Sheet Size26.8 x 18.0 cm (10.6 x 7.1 inches)
ReferenceShirley, R. W.: The Mapping of the World, No. 20


A little bit stained in margin, a brown spot at lower left. Very good condition with beautiful colours.


Hartmann Schedel was born 1440 in Nuremberg. He studied in Leipzig and Padua several disciplines also Physics, Medicine and Laws. Neither his social position nor his business made him famous, but his major work the so called Schedel's World Chronicle. The incunable was issued 1493 in Latin, followed by the German edition in the same year. It contains more than 1800 woodcuts out of Michael Wolgemut woodcut shop. Albrecht Dürer completed an apprenticeship with Wolgemut around 1490, so even Dürer may has worked on these woodcuts. Many of the illustrations showing cities the first time ever. In 1497 the Small Schedel was printed by Johann Schönsperger in Augsburg, a reduced version of the Nuremberg print also smaller in size. Schedel died 1514 in Nuremberg.

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Hartmann Schedel: [Schedel's World Map - Secunda etas mundi - Folium xiii].
Incunabulum woodcut world map by Hartmann Schedel. Published 1497 by Johann Schönsperger in Augsburg.

World Maps - Schedel, Hartmann - [Schedel's World Map - Secunda etas mundi...

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