Catalog Archive

Auction 153, Lot 420

"[Povo [with] Villa d Olinda d Pernambuco]", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: Olinda, Brazil

Period: 1671 (circa)

Publication: De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld

Color: Hand Color

13.9 x 10.4 inches
35.3 x 26.4 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.

These splendid views illustrate 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. At top is a view of Povo (which later became Recife) and Olinda as seen from the sea. At bottom is a large bird's-eye view of the region filled with ships, some engaged in battle, and the city of Povo already engulfed in flames.


Condition: B+

A nice impression on watermarked paper with attractive color and minor toning and soiling. There is a small burn hole in the top view below Olinda that has been professionally repaired.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $200

Closed on 5/20/2015