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De Jode's rare map of Russia

Title
Moscoviae Maximi amplissimi Que Ducatus. [WITH] Livoniae Provinciae ac Eius.
Author
JODE, Gerard de
Publisher
Gerard Smits,
Publication place
[Antwerp,
Publication date
1578].
Dimensions
325 by 505mm (12.75 by 20 inches).
Price
£5,000
Reference
13044

Description

Double-page engraved mapsheet incorporating two maps, fine original hand colour.

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.