ONE OF THE EARLIEST MAPS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
“Indiae Orientalis Insularumque Adiacentium Typus” Copper engraving, published by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp, 1587. Original hand colouring. Size: 34,9 x 49,8 cm. Verso: French text.
One of the earliest regional maps of Southeast Asia and one of the most important to appear in Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.
Ortelius includes early European depictions of both Japan and China and is the first to name Formosa (Taiwan). The Philippines and East Indies or Spice Islands are shown based upon Portuguese and Spanish sources, and before their penetration by the Dutch. Japan is shown in kite form, as a large oval island with chains of smaller islands to the north and south. The East Indies are presented as a randomly scattered archipelago with Java and Borneo particularly misshapen. Part of “Terra Australis Incognita” is shown, emerging from the south and is named ‘Beach’. The map also shows parts of the American northwest, including the cities of Quiuira, Cicuie and Tigeux.