One of the most impressive world maps, dedicated to the emperor. To accompany Kepler's book on the motions of the planets. One of the first maps to show any of the Dutch discoveries of Australia.
"This striking and unusual map was conceived by the German cartographer Philip Eckebrecht at the request of his friend Johann Kepler, to be used with his Rudolphine Astronomical Tables for the calculations of longitude which were first published at Ulm in 1627. However, although the map is dated 1630, all copies known today must have been issued considerably later, certainly after 1658 when the Emperor Leopold to whom the map is dedicated came to the throne.
A note in the lower right-hand part of the map says that it was designed by Philip Eckebrecht of Nuremberg and engraved by J.P. Walch. The central hemisphere's prime meridian is based on the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe's observatory in Uraniburg: the remaining parts of the world are in bifurcated form on either side. A magnificent double headed eagle embraces the continents, and the map is dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor. The design harks back to Braun's imposing wall map of 1574 which is also headed by the Imperial double-eagle and has the continents in bifurcated form.
At one time Eckebrecht's map was believed to be the first to show the Dutch landings in Australia but this claim is now superceded. Until a copy of the 1630 issue comes to light it is impossible to say how much of the 'new' geographical information on the map, particularly with regard to Australia, was added later. As it stands, the map combines the discoveries on the west coast of Hartog (1616), Houtman (1619), and those of Cartensz. and Colsten further north in 1623. New Guinea is erroneously linked to Australia. On the North American continent, Eckebrecht records the new colonies on the east coast — Nova Britannia, Nova Anglia, New South Wales (located south of Button's or Hudson's Bay) and Nova Belgium. Baffin's Bay is also marked. In the west, California is an island with the lands beyond still recognised as Nova Albion.
Only very rarely is Eckebrecht's map found on the open market."
Provenance: the illustrious Benevento collection.