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MONTANUS A. Die Unbekante Neue Welt ...

Item number:04233
Category:Books > Travel Books
Price: 11500 Euro ($13225 / £10120)
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"Considered the first encyclopedia of the Americas." (Schwartz & Ehrenberg)

MONTANUS A. (1625 - 1683). Die Unbekante Neue Welt oder Beschreibung des Welt-teils Amerika, und des Sud-Landes: Darinnen vom Uhrsprunge der Amerikaner und Sudländer (...) [Translation from the Dutch Olfert Dapper.] Amsterdam, Jacon van Meurs, 1673. Folio (30 x 20 cm), title in red and black, half leather, marbled on covers, flat spine with gilt title label. [8]-658-[22] pp. Library stamp on title page. 


Only edition of this German translation by Olfert Dapper (1639-1689) of "De nieuwe en onbekende weereld" (1671) of the preacher and historian Arnoldus Montanus (1626-1683). Part I tells the discovery of America; Part II is a topographical description. Engraved illustrations.: frontispice, 40 double-page plates including 4 folding, 6 full-page portraits (Columbus, Vespucci, Magellan...) and 70 half-page illustrations.

This compilation provides a wealth of information about the New World in the seventeenth century and the European perception of America. The maps and illustrations, drawn from the most accurate sources of the day, include a large folding map of the Western Hemisphere (repaired), New Amsterdam about 1645 (considered one of the most handsome early views of Dutch New York), and maps of Mexico, New England, Virginia, Florida, and other parts of North and South America. The thirty-two beautifully engraved views (Havana, Acapulco, Lima, Potosi etc.) and seventy in-text plates include scenes of Amerindian life (human sacrifice rituals, scenes from the Conquest and explorations, etc.), forts and harbors, naval battles, and depictions of native flora and fauna. The work also contains an illustrated title and seven portraits of early personages in the New World.

The translator, O. Dapper, calls himself the author and conceals the real author's name.

Cumming, 67: "The work by Montanus is one of a series under the general editorship of a Dr. Olfert Dapper, printed by Jacob Meurs of Amsterdam. The copyright for this volume was obtained by Meurs on July 28, 1670. Meurs evidently had an agreement with John Ogilby permitting publication of an edition in English of the work. Ogilby makes no reference to Montanus or to Meurs in the English edition, though much of the work is a direct translation; however, he has significant additions and enlargements, particularly concerning the British possessions and colonies. In general Ogilby used the plates and maps made for the Dutch edition by Meurs, although he also added a few new maps. In the John Carter Brown Library, New York Public Library, and Harvard Library are editions of Ogilby with the date 1670 on the title page. This apparent priority of date has caused confusion concerning the authorship and relative sequence of publication. Actually, Ogilby, like Meurs, had intended to publish the work in 1670; he had difficulty in getting information about the British colonies, as we know from a letter to John Locke from Peter Colleton. Its publication was announced in June 1670 for the following January; in November 1670 it was announced as in "a good forwardness"; and it was finally published November 3, 1671. In 1673 the High German edition, the authorship of which is attributed to Olfer Dapper, appeared, although the text is a translation of Montanus and the engravings are from the plates of Meurs. The German work was privileged in 1670 but was delayed for the Dutch edition and then for the Ogilby edition."


Sabin (America) 50087; Schwartz-Ehrenberg, p.118

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