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Richly Engraved Map South America & the Caribbean
At the Height of Spanish Power

South America/ Southeast U.S./ Gulf of Mexico. . LINSCHOTEN, J. VAN [Amsterdam, 1596]
Delineatio omnium orarum totius Australis partis Americae, . . . 15 x 20 1/4 inches
Fine hand color; sides and bottom remargined with slight loss to left border, else excellent condition.


Arguably the most beautiful early map of South America (and part of North America) in an attractive example. It displays the area at the approximate high water mark of the Spanish Empire in the New World. It was the only map of the Americas in Linschoten’s Itinerarium, the work that is credited for enabling the Dutch entry into the lucrative East Indies and Brazilian trade, once the exclusive preserves of the Portuguese. This richly engraved work adopted the style of the Portuguese portolan chart on which it was based. The map’s vignettes illustrate many of the legends associated with South America, such as the giants of Patagonia.

Tooley et al, Landmarks of Mapmaking, pp. 216-220 (folding plate).

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