"Historia Antipodum oder Newe Welt", Merian, Matthaus
Subject: Title Pages
Period: 1631 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
8.5 x 12.5 inches
21.6 x 31.8 cm
This complex title page is an incredible engraving that introduced this history of the New World. The title is displayed within a large scallop shell that is surrounded by five Native Americans. A globe focusing on the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, Peru and Guiana is set within the jungle at bottom. These were the areas that had been explored and were included in the Historia. An Amazon queen sits at top holding a parrot, attended by putti holding European style symbols of royalty. The figures at the sides were taken from Theodor de Bry's description of Virginia. A large reptile (a cross between an iguana and an alligator) is at their feet. On either side of the globe are two Indian men. The one on the left is reclined in the classic pose of a mythic river god. The one of the right is illustrating the native fishing skills.
References: Shirley (TP) #41.
Dark impression with lovely color. The margins are toned and soiled, not affecting the image.