De Jode’s map of South America in original colour

By DE JODE, Cornelis, 1593 
£15,000
£9,000

Brasilia et Peruvia.

America South America
  • Author: DE JODE, Cornelis
  • Publication place: Antwerp
  • Publication date: 1593.
  • Physical description: Double page engraved map, fine original hand colour.
  • Dimensions: 362 by 426mm. (14.25 by 16.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15707

Notes

A fine original colour example of de Jode’s second map of South America.

The map shows part of Central America and the whole of South America, including a large landmass representing the Tierra del Fuego merging into Australia. It is one of the earliest maps to show the continent on its own, and the earliest Dutch map of South America.

The Southern American continent’s interior is densely detailed with many place names, annotations and images describing the territory, its people, and the flora and the fauna. Two vignettes show life at a cannibal’s campsite, including a human-based dinner, and a battle between indigenous people armed with bows and arrows and explorers armed with rifles. The seas are filled with several vessels, boats, monsters, and more annotations.

The map appeared in the second edition of the de Jodes’ atlas Speculum orbis terrae’. The Speculum’ was first published in 1578 by Gerard de Jode (1509–1591) with text by Daniel Cellarius. It was designed to compete with Abraham Ortelius’ atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’, which had been published eight years earlier. Ortelius used his influence to disrupt de Jode’s application for a royal privilege. By the time this was finally granted, seven years after the publication of the Theatrum’, Ortelius’ work had become so popular that de Jode’s atlas did not sell well, despite the accuracy and clarity of his maps.

His son Cornelis (1558–1600) continued his father’s publishing business after studying at Douai. He produced an enlarged edition of the Speculum’ in 1593, which Gerard had been planning before his death. This map was produced specifically for the second edition. Either Cornelis or Gerard was the first person to make a globe following the geography of Mercator in the southern hemisphere; no copies of it survive to provide evidence.

Although sales of de Jode’s work were less than ideal, the atlas was evidently held in high regard, with several contemporaries citing its importance alongside the atlases of Mercator and Ortelius. Few examples of either edition of the Speculum’ have survived, making the maps within a rarity. 

Bibliography

  1. Van der Krogt 9800:32B.
    • Koeman, C and van der Krogt, Pieter (2000–2010). Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici. MS’t Goy-Houten: HES & De Graaf Publishers. 9 vols.