Auction 108, Lot 248

"Havana", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: Havana, Cuba

Period: 1671 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

13.5 x 11.2 inches
34.3 x 28.4 cm

A splendid engraving of the bustling Cuban capital and the famous El Morro fortress. Although a somewhat imaginary and exotic concept of the city with grand churches, the lively composition depicts the importance of this well-fortified town and thriving port on the Spanish trade route. The foreground is filled with naval activity including a richly decorated galleon firing a salute. This view was prepared for Montanus' important work on the New World, Die Nieuwe en Onbenkende Weerld, which is generally printed on thin paper with narrow margins. This example is printed on heavy paper with extremely wide margins (overall size 25 x 22"), which is much wider even than the English version by Ogilby. Most interestingly it is exquisitely hand colored with gold highlights. The coloring is attributed to Anna Beeck (Beek), a famous colorist at The Hague in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Apparently this view was printed for a special presentation atlas.


Condition: A+

Tissue repair on fold separation, well away from image. There are a few minor spots in blank margins, but the superb original color make this extremely fine.

Estimate: $750 - $1,000

Sold for: $950

Closed on 9/29/2004