Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 433

"Cusco", Montanus/Ogilby

Subject: Cusco, Peru

Period: 1700 (circa)

Publication: America

Color: Hand Color

13.8 x 10.5 inches
35.1 x 26.7 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.

Very fine copperplate engraving of Cusco from the vantage point of a hill overlooking the city. The foreground is filled with people and livestock traveling the road leading to the town. The publication history of this engraving is interesting, as it appeared in both regular and reverse images in various Dutch editions of Montanus' De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld published by Jacob de Meurs in 1671. It is unclear which edition was the first - the edition with the large temple and bridge on the left side, or the edition with the temple and bridge on the right. This example, with the temple and bridge on the right, was acquired by Ogilby for his publication America later the same year (1671), whereas the edition with the temple and bridge on the left was acquired by Olfert Dapper and published in Die Unbekante Neue Welt, oder Beschreibung des Welt-Teils Amerika in 1673. This is the only plate we are aware of that exists in both regular and reverse editions within Montanus' work.


Condition: B+

A fine impression with wide margins and a few faint spots. Short centerfold separations in top and bottom blank margins have been closed on verso with archival materials.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $150

Closed on 12/7/2011