Sailors from both countries intensify their explorations. This competition is complicated when they appreciate that the division line crosses the New World. Amerigo Vespucci is a double agent who acquires as such the best overall knowledge. In his letter published in 1504 under the title Mundus Novus, he demonstrates that the New World extends so far south that it cannot be Asia. He had so identified the existence of a new continent.
The publication by Vespucci leads to the inadequacy of the maps regularly updated in the wake of Ptolemy to describe the world. Duke René II of Lorraine commissions in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges a team including the cosmographer Ringmann and the printer Waldseemüller to create new maps accompanied by a treatise on geography and to amend Ptolemy.
Waldseemüller publishes this cartography in 1507 in two representations : a wall map in four columns and three rows and a set of twelve adjacent gores to be trimmed by the user and glued on a wooden ball. The booklet is titled Cosmographiae Introductio.
The geographical globe had been invented by Behaim in 1492. Waldseemüller's gores are the first use of printing for such artefact. As for geography his advances are highly significant. Based on information kept confidential because of the rivalry between Castile and Portugal, he inserts for the first time an ocean between the New World and Asia and includes some very specific details such as the protuberance of Florida.
It was now necessary to define a name for this new continent. Columbus had died in the previous year. The new mapping could not have been done without the inputs provided by Vespucci. The team at Saint-Dié coins the new name : America.
Five gore sets contemporary to Waldseemüller's early editions from 1507 to 1509 are known. Among them a trimmed piece 18 x 34 cm overall was sold for £ 550K including premium by Christie's on June 8, 2005.
An uncut 31 x 43 cm sheet in laid paper with the same printing as in the above example is estimated £ 600K for sale by Christie's in London on December 13, lot 97. It had been kept as a scrap for stuffing a binding and is just surfacing from the archives of a craftsman who died in 1986.