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The extremely rare first edition of Ramusio’s map of Sumatra

Stock No. 9111 Category: Tags: , , , , , Cartographer: RAMUSIO, Giovanni Battista.

Venice, 1556, FIRST EDITION. Woodcut, printed area 280 x 375mm.


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Sumatra, here associated with 'Taprobana', published in Ramusio's 'Raccolta di Navigationi et Viaggi'. In the book was an account of the voyage of the Parmentier Brothers, Frenchmen who ran the Portuguese blockade of the East Indies and landed on the Sumatran port of Ticon. Both brothers died of fever and the trade was not too successful, dissuading the French from sending further expeditions. However their findings are included here, making this the first map of any island in South East Asia to be based on actual observation. It is strange, therefore, that there is no attempt to show any part of the Malay Peninsula or Java.

This is an example of the rare printing from the first block, which was destroyed by a fire in the printing house after only a year's use. A new block was cut for the second edition, 1565, and prints from this second block are found more frequently.

Additional information

Dimensions 375 × 280 mm



Extra Info



Venice, 1556, FIRST EDITION. Woodcut, printed area 280 x 375mm.


Very minor repairs at centrefold, old ink corrections to page numbering.


SUAREZ: p.157, & fig.77 (second block illustrated).