Gerard de Jode
31.5 x 52.5 cms
Rare early map of Portugal after Alvaro Secco, from Cornelis de Jode's 1593 Speculum Orbis Terrarum. The map was finely engraved by the van Doetecum brothers, the best copper engravers of the day, and first issued by Cornelis' father Gerard de Jode in 1578.
The map is beautifully decorated with sea monsters, a compass rose, a strapwork cartouche and sailing ships after designs by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. West is at the top of the map.
Dark and even impression of the copperplate. White paper, ample margins. Minor restoration to lower left margin, outside the printed area. An excellent collector's example of this rare and important map.
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 His major atlas, now extremely rare, could not be published until 1578, eight years after the 'Theatrum', Ortelius having obtained a monopoly for that period.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."