America sive India Nova (America) by Mercator

The only engraved map attributed to Michael Mercator. This is a splendid early document of Cartography of the Americas and one of the most famous early representations of the continent.

The topography of the interior is tentative: the St. Lawrence River cuts straight East through the continent, there's no Great Lakes, and Hudson Bay is a small fresh water lake ("mare dulcium aquarum"). The North West is largely left to speculation, with the mythical lands of Quivira and Anian, and the land of Berg ("Bergi regio") with its abundance of wild forest horses ("equi sylvestres") and sheep ("oves item sylvestres"). South America has the typical bulging coast of Chile we also find in the first two states of Ortelius' own America.

The coastline of the large unexplored southern continent ("Terra Australis nondum cognita") extends from the tip of South America up North West around the entire expanse of what will be later identified as Australia. The North Pole is surrounded by four islands, of which we can two. Following a theory common among geographers of the time, Mercator has rivers flow between the four islands, carrying the water of the Oceans to the North Pole. The water (the map explains) is then swallowed by the earth. French text on verso.

Gerhard Mercator
America Early Map by Mercator
Publication Place / Date
Image Dimensions
Amsterdam / 1628
46 by 37 cm
Hand coloring
Product Price
Product Number
On Request
SKU #M.0861