Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 406

"Olinda de Phernambuco", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: Brazil

Period: 1729 (circa)


Color: Black & White

13.8 x 11.2 inches
35.1 x 28.4 cm

Montanus' work was perhaps the greatest illustrated book on the New World produced in the seventeenth century. It contained over one hundred beautifully engraved plates, views, and maps of North and South America. The plates vividly depict forts, festivals, occupations, Dutch fleets, battles, religious rites, and customs of the native inhabitants. This important work was translated into German by Olivier Dapper, and into English by John Ogilby. Several of the plates were later acquired by Pierre Vander Aa.

This splendid view illustrates the Dutch attack on the Portuguese city of Olinda in 1630. Throughout most of the seventeenth century Portugal and Holland had a commercial agreement in which the Portuguese colonies in the New World produced sugar, and the Dutch distributed it across Europe using their vast commercial network. After the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain merged, the Dutch lost their distribution monopoly and created the West Indian Company in 1621. Shortly thereafter the Dutch began its attack on Pernambuco, first at Salvador and then at Olinda. This engraving originally appeared in Montanus' great work in 1671. This edition is printed on a large folio sheet of sturdy paper indicating a later publication probably by Vander Aa.


Condition: A

Lightly toned with a few minor spots of foxing in the huge, blank margins. There is an old repair on the bottom centerfold, well away from the image.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $250

Closed on 2/16/2011