Christie’s Will Sell 510-Year-Old “America’s Birth Certificate” Map
A fascinating 510-year-old map nicknamed “America’s birth certificate” was recently discovered by famous auction house Christie’s.
The rare two-dimensional map is the world’s oldest-known printed globe, which is designed to be cut out and pasted around a wooden globe, reports the New York Post. But most importantly, it is the earliest writing record in history that uses the name “America”.
The map is expected to sell between $788,000 and $1.2 million when it will be put on auction in London next month. This is a basically a bargain compared to $10 million, which was the selling price of a similar map back in 2003.
The historic map was created by German monk and cartographer Martin Waldseemueller in 1507, and according to Julian Wilson, senior specialist in Christie’s book department, “this is the first time that America is on the map, in more ways than one way.”
The talented monk took the liberty of naming the new continent after Italian banker and geographer Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first person to demonstrate that the new continent Europeans had stumbled upon was not Asia.
Waldseemuller had never travelled further than his monastery near the borders of France and Germany, but his cartography skills were exceptional and his depictions of foreign lands surprisingly accurate. There are only a few “quirks”, according to Wilson, such as “a very large Sri Lanka and a very small India.”
Moreover, the map ignores the existence of Australia, and it places Japan in the mid-Pacific.
But, naturally, these “errors” only increase its appeal.
The map belongs to the family of British paper restorer Arthur Drescher, and it was put up for sale by his surviving relatives.
It is older than Europe’s popular historic attractions such as the Uffizi gallery in Florence and Pont Neuf in Paris.