France – Gallia III Nova Tabula

by Sebastian Münster


Date of first edition: 1540

Date of this map: after  1540

Dimensions (not including margins): 24,5 x 34,5 cm

Dimensions (including margins): 31 x 39 cm

Condition: Excellent. Wood cut. Centre fold as published. Strong paper and wide margins.

Condition rating: A+

Verso: text in Latin

From: Geographia Universalis vetus et nova



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Gallia III Nova Tabula: first edition of the first wood cut by Münster

The map was published in the edition of Münster’s Geografia of 1540.

This atlas include some of the oldest European new regional maps.

This map shows France, up to the Rhine River (East and North) and parts of Switzerland and Italy. Mountain ranges and rivers are prominently present.

The map strangely combines he Antique world with contemporary France.

Cities such as Parys, Nantes, Arle, Orleans Tours, Geneba and Antwerp and regions such as Britannia, Limosin, Burgundia, Lotharingia and Picardia are mentioned.

However, Münster incorporates names of the Antiquity: Tholosa (Toulouse), Metis (Metz), Mosa (Meuse), Burdigala (Burdeus), Lugdunu (Leon). For a better understanding he added a table at the left with the Latin and the translated contemporary names.

Sebastian Münster

Münster dominated cartographic publication during the mid-16th Century and is generally regarded as one of the most important map makers of the 16th Century. He was a linguist and mathematician, who initially taught Hebrew in Heidelberg. He issued his first mapping of Germany in 1529, after which he issued a call geographical information about Germany to scholars throughout the country. The response was better than hoped for, and included substantial foreign material, which supplied him with up to date, if not necessarily accurate maps for the issuance of his Geographia in 1540. A fine dark impression with wide margins.

The 1st edition can be distinguished by the inclusion of the 2nd printer’s device at the right of or) in the title. This map lacks this device, so it is not a first edition.

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