c 1552 Munster Map of the Holy Land


“TERRA SANCTA XXIII NOVA TABVLA”  Basel: Sebastian Münster, c. 1552.

From Geographia Universalis by Sebastian Munster - published by Henrich Petri, Basel, 1552.  Woodcut map with fine later hand-coloring. and descriptive text on verso in Latin.  

Paper size: 12 3/8 x 15 ½ inches - Image size : 11 x 14 ¾ inches.

One of the earliest modern maps of the Holy Land: Munster’s map of the Holy Land is divided amongst the 12 Tribes of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. This example is from the rare 1552 edition of the Geographia, and is the only Munster issue to feature coordinate bars on all sides.

Reference: Eran Laor, Maps of the Holy Land, NYC 1986, number 526.  

 The map is oriented with West at the top of the map, and extends from Gaza and Arabia at the left to beyond Sidon in Phoenicia (modern day Lebanon) at bottom right. There are numerous named Biblical sites, and a number of vignettes including a camel caravan at an oasis, livestock and wild animals. The inset is a key of ancient and modern place names. 

Munster's Geographia was a major cartographic achievement, including not only Ptolemaic maps but also a number of landmark modern maps, of which this example is one. Munster dominated cartographic publication during the mid-16th Century and is generally regarded as one of the three most important map makers of the 16th Century, along with Ortelius and Mercator. 

A fine example of this sought-after map of the Holy Land in excellent antiquarian condition and attractive hand color.  Minor staining and a closed worm hole in the blank margins.

Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory# M-14580