Gerard de Jode
32.5 x 50.0 cms
Very rare map of Russia and Livonia, together on one sheet, from Cornelis de Jode's 1593 'Speculum Orbis Terrarum'. The map is engraved by his father Gerard de Jode and was first issued in 1578. The maps are decorated with local wildlife, tartars, and worshipping. This 1593 edition is the same state as the 1578, and can be distinguished by the page number and the signature on the back of the map.
The copperplate has been engraved by Johannes and Lucas van Doetecum, the finest engravers of the time. It was very difficult to obtain accurate geographical information of these regions, because the area was not accessible for Europeans. The map is one of the best and most detailed early maps that is obtainable for collectors, after a manuscript prototype by Anthony Jenkins who was the main trader of the Muscovy Company, which had a monopoly on trade between England and Russia. The original manuscript map by Anthony Jenkinson was only rediscovered in the 1980s in the British Library.
Gerard de Jode originally issued his atlas in 1578 to compete with Ortelius' atlas with little success. In 1593, two years after his death, Gerard's son Cornelius re-issued the atlas. The success of the atlas was very limited due to heavy competition with Ortelius, who also seems to have bought many copies of de Jode's atlas to take them off the market. Because of this, both editions of the de Jode atlas are exceptionally rare.
"Gerard de Jode, born in Nijmegen, was a cartographer, engraver, printer and publisher in Antwerp, issueing maps from 1555 more or less in the same period as Ortelius. He was never able to offer very serious competition to his more businesslike rival although, ironically, he published Ortelius's famous 8-sheet World Map in 1564. His major atlas, now extremely rare, could not be published until 1578, eight years after the 'Theatrum', Ortelius having obtained a monopoly for that period.
The enlarged re-issue by his son in 1593 is more frequently found. On the death of Cornelis, the copper plates passed to J.B. Vrients (who bought the Ortelius plates about the same time) and apparently no further issue of the atlas was published."
(Moreland & Bannister).
"After the death of Cornelis in 1600, the copper-plates came into the hands of Jan Baptiste Vrients, then the publisher of Ortelius' Theatrum. Apparantly Vrients must have bought them to prevent any further publication of the Speculum."