Books > Atlases > Antique book of America by J. de Laet
The most accurate description of the Americas at the time - 1640
de LAET, Jean (1593-1649). L'Histoire du Nouveau monde ou Description des Indes occidentales, contenant dix-huict livres... Enrichi de nouvelles Tables géographiques & Figures des Animaux, Plantes & Fruits. Leiden: Bonaventure & Abraham Elzevier, 1640.
Folio (345 x 220 mm) 14 double-page engraved maps, 64 woodcut illustrations in text; two maps age-toned, one sheet (O1) with a corner torn off, modern imitation binding, spine richly gilt with six raised bands, marbled sheepskin, marbled edge. Title printed in red and black with woodcut printer's vignette.
FIRST FRENCH EDITION. "This French translation of de Laet contains many materials not to be found in the original Dutch, chiefly vocabularies of Indian tribe". First published in 1625, the author maintained the currency of subsequent editions by adding events as they occurred, making this the most complete edition. This edition records the sacking of Bahia, the conquest of Olinda, Itamaraca, Parahiba, and Rio Grande do Norte. The work was used as an atlas during the second half of the seventeenth century and is recognized for the accuracy of its maps because de Laet had access to the latest geographic data as a director of the Dutch West India Company. Burden points out the new, more open style of engraving which was adopted by Blaeu.... "From a scholarly point of view this French translation is the best edition, and for studies concerning Brazil the additions... make it an indispensable work" (Borba de Moraes 451). "This work is full of the most excellent and curious details of the natural history, and the character, manners, and customs of the American aborigines, derived from the reports of the European mission establishments in America" (Charlevoix, quoted in Sabin (America) 38558).
Item number: 04230
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