De Jode’s rare map of Russia in full original colour

By JODE, Gerard de, 1578 
£5,000
£3,000

Moscoviae Maximi amplissimi Que Ducatus. [WITH] Livoniae Provinciae ac Eius.

Europe Russia
  • Author: JODE, Gerard de
  • Publication place: [Antwerp
  • Publisher: Gerard Smits
  • Publication date: 1578].
  • Physical description: Double-page engraved mapsheet incorporating two maps, fine original hand colour.
  • Dimensions: 325 by 505mm (12.75 by 20 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 13044

Notes

A pair of maps showing the Duchies of Muscovy and Livonia. Muscovy was the centre of the newly formed Russia under Ivan the Terrible; Livonia was a part of the Duchy of Lithuania.

De Jode’s atlas Speculum Orbis Terrarum’ 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.

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.