[FIRST PRINTED MAP OF THE AMERICA(S) IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD] Sekl-i Amerika. [i.e. The form of America]. Prep. by Katib Çelebi. Published by Ibrahim Müteferrika
KIRIMLI AHMED (AHMAD AL-QIRIMÎ) or / and GALATALI MIGIRDIÇ (MIGIRDICH FROM GALATA), (Map-makers), Müteferrika Printing House., Kostantiniyye [Constantinople - Istanbul], [10 Mukharram 1145 AH] = July 3, 1732.
Original hand-colored copperplate map. (31x22 cm) -Printed size: 22x15,5 cm-. In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). (Sources: Yazmadan basmaya: Müteferrika, Mühendishane, Üsküdar.; Library of Hungarian Academy of Sciences online.; The University of Chicago Library).
First printed map of America(s) in the Islamic world, taken from the 11th Turkish incunabula titled "Cihannuma" [i.e. View of the World], printed in 1732, as the 22nd (of 40) map in the book. Extremely rare hand-colored copperplate engraved map. One of 500 copies.
This historically significant and very attractive map was printed on European paper and hand-colored uniquely, like every map in each copy of the book. It shows North, Central, and South Americas with Northern and Southern Poles all in red borders, through the latitudes, longitudes, Equator, and tropics, with degrees in the Arabic numerical system. Also, Kuba [i.e. Cuba], Riko [i.e. Puerto Rico], Espanyole [i.e. modern-day Haiti - Dominican Republic] are drawn together with several anonymous islands in the Antilles. The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans surrounding the Americas are colored in golden green. Some big rivers like the Amazon and Mississippi were drawn on the map, and the mountain ranges of California and its north are depicted in dark green. Other toponyms in the map: Terre novo [i.e. Terra Nova], Bahr-i Muhit-i Kanada [i.e. Canadian Sea], Britanya-i Cedîd [i.e. New Britain], Françe-i Cedîd [i.e. New France], Memâlîk-i Kaliforniya [i.e. The land of California], Meksika [i.e. Mexico], Bahr-i Muhît-i Espanya [i.e. The Spanish Sea], Bahr-i Muhit-i Peru [i.e. Grau's Sea], Memleket-i Berezilya [i.e. The land of Brazil], Memâlîk-i Yeraguy [i.e. The land of Uruguay], Macellan Bogazi [i.e. The Strait of Magellan], etc.
There are three different names of cartographers on the 19 maps in Cihannuma, and the rest (21 maps) are not signed. Although this map is one of the anonymous ones, sources suggest either one of them or both Kirimli Ahmed and Galatali Migirdiç are the cartographer(s) who drew this map. Sources agree that Ibrahim Müteferrika (the founder of the first printing house in the Islamic world) himself is Tophaneli Ibrahim [i.e. Ibrahim from Tophane] who is mentioned as the third cartographer in the book.
ABOUT THE BOOK OF "CIHANNUMA":
The Cihânnümâ, or Jihannuma is the 11th Turkish incunabula and the state-of-the-art summary of the Ottoman geographical knowledge at that age. That’s because the author relied heavily, for the very first time, on European sources such as Mercator’s, Ortelius’, and Cluverius' atlases. The first part of the work is dedicated to overall geography and hydrography. The second to the political geography, road network, and hydrography of the continents, including America and Australia. This book is a significant breakthrough in geography in Ottoman Turkey, printed in 1732 [Mukharram 10, 1145 AH], in 500 copies, by Ibrahim Müteferrika based on Ottoman scholar and geographer Katip Çelebi’s 17th-century manuscript. Cihannüma has 13 charts and 27 maps.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kâtib [Kâtip] Çelebi [known as "Hajji Khalifa" in the western world] (1609-1657) was an Ottoman-Turkish polymath, geographer, scholar, encyclopedist, and leading author of the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. He taught medicine, geography, astrolabe, geometry, logic, arithmetic, and astronomy in the 17th-century Ottoman madrasahs.
ABOUT THE FIRST PRINTING HOUSE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD:
Printing was Hungarian-born Müteferrika's main contribution not only to the Ottoman Empire but also to Islamic culture. He was the first person to run a state-sponsored printing press in an Islamic country to print books in the Arabic script for a Turkish-speaking audience. His printing house was established in Istanbul in 1138/1726 and was officially recognized a year later, permitted to print secular texts only. Ibrahim Müteferrika (1674-1745) printed four separate maps between 1131-1141/1719-1729 and seventeen books. The Basma Khâne [i.e. The Printing House] laid the foundations for the development of moveable type printing presses in other Muslim countries. (The University of Chicago Library).