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Description:This fine original copper-plate engraved antique map of Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Baltic States by Matthaus Merian was published in Theatrum Europaeum in 1635.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 14 1/4in x 13 1/4in (360mm x 335mm)Plate size: - 14in x 13in (355mm x 325mm)Margins: - Min 1/4in (5mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: Before the fifteenth century the people of Southern Europe had little geographical knowledge of the Scandinavian World except from sketchy detail shown in the Catalan Atlas (1375) and on a number of \\\" portolani\\\" embracing Denmark and the southern tip of Norway. It was not until 1427 that a manuscript map prepared about that time by Claudius Clavus (b.1388) a Dane who spent some time in Rome, made available to scholars a tolerable outline of the northern countries and Greenland. That was to remain the best map available for the rest of the century and it was used as the basis for maps of Scandinavia in early printed editions of Ptolemy. Others by Nicolaus Cusanus (1491) and Ehrhard Etzlaub (c. 1492) followed but, needless to say, these are extremely rare; even the later maps by Olaus Magnus and Marcus Jordan, where they have survived at all , are known only by a very few examples. In fact, apart from the rare appearance of an early Ptolemy map, the oldest of Scandinavia which a collector is likely to find are those of Munster\\\'s Cosmograhy first published in 1544. In the following centuries the few maps and charts complied in Scandinavia were usually published in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Paris or Nuremberg, the most important maps often being incorporated in the major Dutch, French & German Atlases. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)
Merian, Matthaus 1593 - 1650Merian was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house. He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family.Born in Basel, Merian learned the art of copperplate engraving in Zürich. He next worked and studied in Strasbourg, Nancy, and Paris, before returning to Basel in 1615. The following year he moved to Frankfurt, Germany where he worked for the publisher Johann Theodor de Bry, who was the son of renowned engraver and traveler Theodor de Bry.In 1617, Merian married Maria Magdalena de Bry, daughter of the publisher, and was for a time associated with the de Bry publishing house. In 1620 they moved back to Basel, but three years later returned to Frankfurt. They had four daughters and three sons, including Matthäus Merian the Younger. Maria Magdalena de Bry died in 1645 and the following year Matthäus married Johanna Catharina Hein. Five years later, Matthäus died, leaving his wife with two small children, Anna Maria Sibylla Merian (born 1647) who later became a pioneering naturalist and illustrator and a son, Maximilian, who died before his third birthday.In 1623 Merian took over the publishing house of his father-in-law after de Brys death. In 1626 he became a citizen of Frankfurt and could henceforth work as an independent publisher. He spent most of his working life in Frankfurt.Early in his life, he had created detailed town plans in his unique style, e.g. a plan of Basel (1615) and a plan of Paris (1615). With Martin Zeiler (1589 - 1661), a German geographer, and later (circa 1640) with his own son, Matthäus Merian (der Jüngere, i.e.the Younger or Jr.) (1621 - 1687), he produced a series of Topographia. The 21-volume set was collectively known as the Topographia Germaniae. It includes numerous town plans and views, as well as maps of most countries and a World Map—it was such a popular work that it was re-issued in many editions. He also took over and completed the later parts and editions of the Grand Voyages and Petits Voyages, originally started by de Bry in 1590.Merians work inspired the Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna by Erik Dahlberg. The German travel magazine Merian is named after him.He was also noted for the finesse of his alchemical illustrations, in books such as the Musaeum Hermeticum (1678) and Atalanta Fugiens (1618).Matthäus Merian died after several years of illness in 1650 in Langenschwalbach, near Wiesbaden.After his death, his sons Matthäus Jr. and Caspar took over the publishing house. They continued publishing the Topographia Germaniae and the Theatrum Europaeum under the name Merian Erben (i.e. Merian Heirs).