— Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2013 —
“Considered the first encyclopedia of the Americas”—Schwartz & Ehrenberg
Early, Important Maps & Views
California as an Island
The Most Handsome of the Early Views of Dutch New York
462. [MONTANUS, Arnoldus]. [Engraved pictorial title] America zu Amsterdam bey Jacob von Meurs auf der Keysergraft in der Stadt Meurs 1673. [Printed title] Die unbekante Neue Welt, oder Beschreibung des Welt-teils Amerika, und des Süd-Landes: Darinnen vom Uhrsprunge der Ameriker [sic] und Sudländer...Durch Dr. O[lfert]. D[apper]. Amsterdam: Bey Jacob von Meurs, auf der Keysersgraftin der Stadt Meurs, 1673. , 1-658, [22, index] pp. (printed in double columns), title printed in red and black and with arms of Amsterdam, decorated initials, 126 copper engravings (including pictorial title): Pictorial title; 16 folded or double-page maps; 32 folded or double-page city views; 1 double-plate plate of Aztec idol; 6 full-page portraits (Columbus, Vespucci, Magellan, Moctezuma, Atahualpa, and Pizarro); 70 text illustrations (including 5 city views). The text engravings on pp. 49, 53, and 92 are cancels. Folio (31.7 x 21.2 cm), contemporary vellum over boards (new endpapers), edges tinted red. Occasional mild foxing, browning, and staining (confined to text), the folded map of America at front with a few early, neat repairs and a few very small holes at folds (no losses to image), overall a very good, complete copy in excellent, hefty contemporary vellum. Plates and maps are strong impressions. Much better than usually found. Sabin and others state this German edition is rarer than the 1671 Dutch or the 1671 Ogilby edition.
Selection of the Maps & Views with Focus on North & Central America
Novissima et Accuratissima Totius Americæ Descriptio per Jacobum Meursium.... Map of North and South America with California as an Island. Neat line to neat line: 43.3 x 54.1 cm. Title cartouche at lower left illustrates seated Native American overlooking other Natives and Europeans displaying goods and treasures; upper left with frenzied baroque melange of Neptune in sea carriage with his entourage, sea creatures, mermaids, and putti. Faces p. 1. Burden 430. Leighley, California as an Island 62.McLaughlin, California as an Island 50: “Cartography based on Visscher map of 1670, and very similar to Ogilby’s and Schagen’s 1671 maps of the same title.” Tooley, California as an Island 36, Plate 43. Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 404-405n. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 57.
Vetus Mexico. View of the Valley of Mexico. Border to border: 28.8 x 35.3 cm. Mexico at the time of the Spanish arrival (in the foreground a Spaniard on horseback being followed by a small troop of soldiers is greeted by the locals). Key at left. Between pp. 90 & 91.
Arx Carolina. View, thought to be either the French settlement at Parris Island (in present-day South Carolina) or another French settlement, Fort Carolina (near present-day Jacksonville, Florida, on the St. John River). Border to border: 27.9 x 35.2 cm. A triangular fort with bastions is set on the bend of a river. Shown are ships in harbor, men in boats fishing with nets, a water well, oxen carts, Native Americans, Europeans dressed in plumed hats, dwellings, cannons, and domestic animals. Between pp. 114 & 115.
Novi Belgii quod nunc Novi Jorck vocatur, novæq3Angliæ & Partis Virginiæ accuratissima et novissima delineatio. New England. Map of the Atlantic seaboard from the Chesapeake Bay to the Penobscot. Neat line to neat line: 29 x 37 cm. Title cartouche at lower right (Native Americans in canoe, with bow and arrow, processing deer). Between pp. 142 & 143. Burden 411. McCorkle, New England in Early Printed Maps 671.1.
Novum Amsterodamum. Lower Manhattan viewed from across the Hudson River, showing boats, buildings (including church). Neat line to neat line: 12.5 x 16.4 cm. On p. 143. Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island VI:262.
Nova Virginæ Tabula. Map of Virginia around Chesapeake Bay (west is at the top of the map) showing many Native American villages (after John Smith 1612). Neat line to neat line: 29 x 35.8 cm. Title cartouche at top left with putti with drapes and bundles. Notarum Explicatio at top right with decorative cartouche illustrating two Native Americans, goat and a llama-like creature. Scale below with three putti. Between 152 & 153. Burden 412. Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps 67.
Virginiæ parties australis, et Floridæ parties orientalis, Interiacentiumq3 regionum Nova Descriptio. Map showing Virginia to northern Florida (after Blaeu ca. 1638). Neat line to neat line: 28.9 x 35.6 cm. Title cartouche at lower right (two Native Americans holding up a bison pelt); decorative scale at top left with Native Americans pointing at framed scale, swimming, bearing food, etc. Between pp. 164 & 165. Burden 413.
Pagus Hispanorum in Florida. View of Saint Augustine, Florida. Border to border: 26.7 x 35.6 cm. Saint Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos. Includes fortifications, ships, men cooking, veiled European woman protected by a parasol, dog, boats, dwellings, and church. Deák, Picturing America 50. Between pp. 168 & 169.
Havana. View of Havana from the harbor. Border to border: 28.8 x 35.5 cm. Magnificent ship at lower left, city of Havana, Cuba, showing the entrance to the harbor protected by an iron chain. Includes fortifications, churches, dwellings, and tower. Between pp. 176 & 177.
Urbs Domingo in Hispaniola. Bird’s-eye view of Santo Domingo in present-day Dominican Republic. Border to border: 28.7 x 35.4 cm. City plan and surrounding countryside, cathedral at center, churches, fortifications, and dwellings. Includes gardens, moat, gallows, ships, and boats. Between pp. 180 & 181.
Porto Rico. View of San Juan, in present-day Puerto Rico, showing harbor, dwellings, fortifications, ships, and boats. Border to border: 28.3 x 34.9 cm. Deák, Picturing America 51. Between pp. 188 & 189.
Mappa Aestivarum Insularum alias Barmudas dictarum.... Neat line to neat line: 29.1 x 35.8 cm. Map of Bermuda showing lots belonging to the eight tribes (investors’ partitioned areas) of Bermuda. Ownership of land lots is represented by numbers; individual landowners are listed in a key below. Decorative cartouche with putti, two bathers, and dolphins. Scale with Native Americans and Europeans with measuring line and compasses. Cartographic elements include compass rose and scale. Decorative elements include coats of arms. Between pp. 192 & 193.
Insulæ Americanæ in Oceano Septentrionali, cum Terris adia centibus. Map of Caribbean islands, Central America, and parts of South and North America (including Gulf of Mexico), after Blaeu 1635. Neat line to neat line: 28.4 x 36.3 cm. Title cartouche depicting industrious Native Americans laboring as two European overseers look on. Scale with Native Americans at various tasks. Compass rose and rhumb lines. Between 194 & 195. Burden 414. Jackson, Flags along the Coast, pp. 11 & 103.
De Stadt St. Martin. View of the harbor at present-day Philipsburg on the Great Bay in Sint Maarten. Neat line to neat line: 27.4 x 36.3 cm. Depicts the attempted takeover by the Dutch from the Spanish in 1644, fort on promontory at left, fortifications on fire, scene of naval warfare, and dwellings. Key with identifications right. Between pp. 220 & 221. This plate does not appear in all copies.
Viztlipuztli idolum Mexicanorum. Idol of Huitzilopochtli (Aztec god of war). Border to border: 27.7 x 34.2 cm. Interior of a temple filled with many people; the idol is shown as a devil with wings, a face on his stomach, and cloven hooves, standing on an altar. Between pp. 248 & 249.
Nova Hispania Nova Galicia Gvatimala. Map of New Spain showing Gulf of Mexico as far south as Costa Rica. Neat line to neat line: 29 x 35.6 cm. Decorative cartouche at lower left showing trading scene between Native Americans and a European trader. Between pp. 258 & 259. Burden 415.
Nova Mexico. Bird’s-eye view of Mexico City after the Spanish conquest, taken from the shore of the lake. Border to border: 28.7 x 54.4 cm. Busy, crowded, well-built city with churches, walls, fountains, houses, domestic animals, dogs, horses, fields outside of the city walls and Black or Native American men farming, boating on a canal or river, hauling goods on an ox-drawn cart, and carrying loads on their backs. Letter key below. Between pp. 262-263. Kagan, Urban Images of the Hispanic World, Fig. 4.23; Lombardo de Ruiz, Atlas histórico de la ciudad de México, Plate 125.
Portus Acapulco. View of the harbor at Acapulco. 27.8 x 35.8 cm. Native Americans carry goods and Europeans enter a settlement with dwellings, churches, fortifications, Fort San Diego, ships. At left is identification key. Between pp. 276 & 277.
St. Francisco de Campeche. View of San Francisco de Campeche, now capital of Campeche, Mexico. 29 x 36.3 cm. View of harbor with naval warfare, imposing ship at left with town across the bay with fortifications, cathedral, churches, monastery, and houses. Between pp. 292-293.
Yucatan Conventus Iuridici Hipaniæ Novæ Pars Occidentalis, et Guatimala Conventus Iuridicus. Map of Central America including southeast Mexico to present-day Panama. 28.7 x 36.3 cm. Title cartouche and scale at lower left with shell, putti, Native Americans, Neptune in the far distance. Between pp. 302 & 303.
First edition in German of this superbly illustrated study of the New World, translated by O. Dapper into German from the original edition published at Amsterdam in 1671. An edition translated into English by Ogilby came out in 1671 as well. The present edition has the same plates as the 1671 Dutch edition (Amsterdam, Jacob van Meurs), except for the map Novissima et Accuratissima Totius Americæ. Each edition utilizes the same geography, but with changes to the two decorative cartouches. The collations of both books differ (the Dutch edition has more text). Also, the placement of the maps differs. Asher 15. Berger, Bibliografia do Rio de Janeiro, pp. 76-77. BMC (Nat. Hist.), p.1464n. Borba de Moraes, pp. 245-246: “A classic book on America.” JCB I (3, 1659-1674), p. 260: “This German translation by Dapper seems to be scarcer than the Dutch original of 1671” (also listed by JCB in their online database on Indian languages). European Americana 673/111. Field 1082. Hill II:1256 (citing Ogilby 1671). Howes D59 & M773n: “For beauty and wealth of copperplates comparable only to De Bry.” Miles & Reese, America Pictured to the Life 29. Palau 177494. Sabin 50087: “Asher says that he had met with only one copy [of the 1673 edition in German] in the Netherlands, viz. that in the Royal Library of the Hague. This publication is, besides, a specimen of the most impudent plagiarism, the translator O. Dapper calling himself the author and concealing the real author’s name.” Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 118: “Considered the first encyclopedia of the Americas.” Tiele, Nederlandsche Bibliographie van Land-en Volkenkunde 763n. For authorship controversy, see The Library Chronicle of the University of Texas V:262.
This compilation provides a wealth of information about the New World in the seventeenth century and the European perception of America. The maps and illustrations, drawn from the most accurate sources of the day, include a large folded map of the Western Hemisphere (depicting California as an island), New Amsterdam about 1645 (considered one of the most handsome early views of Dutch New York), and maps of Mexico, New England, Virginia, Florida, and other parts of North and South America. The thirty-two beautifully engraved views and seventy in-text plates include scenes of Amerindian life (human sacrifice rituals, scenes from the Conquest and explorations, etc.), forts and harbors, naval battles, and depictions of native flora and fauna. The work also contains an illustrated title and seven portraits of early personages in the New World.
Cumming (The Southeast in Early Maps 67) explores the interesting publication of Montanus in both Dutch and German and the Ogilby in English. Neither Ogilby nor Dapper, the translator of this German edition, gave credit to Montanus or publisher-printer Jacob Meurs:
Arnoldus Montanus (1625?, Amsterdam-1683, Schoonhoven), Dutch teacher, author, minister, and headmaster of the Latin School, published books on geography, history, and theology on Holland and other parts of the world. The present work on America is his most famous, but he also published atlases of Japan and China due to his connections with the East-India Company.
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