Auction 137, Lot 459

"Castrum Mauritij Ad Ripam Fluminis S. Francisci", Aa, Pieter van der

Subject: Brazil

Period: 1729 (published)

Publication: Galerie agreeable du monde

Color: Black & White

13.4 x 11 inches
34 x 27.9 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.

John Maurice of Nassau was appointed governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil in 1636 by the Dutch West India Company. In 1637, he founded Fort Maurice, depicted here in this impressive view. The fort controlled the ferry on the Rio Sao Francisco, and was built on a steep hill overlooking the river and was fortified with five bastions. This detailed engraving was inspired by a 1639 painting by celebrated Dutch painter Frans Post, who traveled to the New World with Maurice. It originally appeared in Arnoldus Montanus’ De Nieuwe en onbekende Weereld: of Beschryving van America in 1671. Pieter van der Aa acquired the plate and republished it in his monumental Galerie, which was issued in an edition of only 100 copies. This edition can be identified by the thick, wide margined paper on which it is printed.


Condition: B+

Wide margins, as issued, with a minute pinhole only visible when held up to light and a few unobtrusive spots.

Estimate: $220 - $300

Sold for: $160

Closed on 9/14/2011