Catalog Archive
Auction 161, Lot 404

"Vetus Mexico", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: Mexico City, Mexico

Period: 1671 (published)

Publication: De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld

Color: Hand Color

13.9 x 11.4 inches
35.3 x 29 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.

Panoramic view of the city of Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest. The city is built in the middle of a large lake with bridges connecting it to the surrounding countryside. Important buildings are identified with lettered key. In the foreground numerous native and Spanish activities are depicted along the road.


Condition: B+

A dark impression on paper with a jester watermark, a few minor spots of foxing, and mild toning.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $230

Closed on 2/8/2017