Catalog Archive
Auction 143, Lot 379

"Castrum Mauritij ad Ripam Fluminis S. Francisci", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: Fort Maurice, Brazil

Period: 1671 (circa)

Publication: De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld

Color: Hand Color

13.7 x 11.1 inches
34.8 x 28.2 cm
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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. Included in the scene are ships and a rowboat, oxcarts bringing goods to the ships, and men carrying barrels. A small lettered key below neatline at bottom left identifies three locations.


Condition: B+

Attractive color and light soiling.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $200

Closed on 2/13/2013