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Key Trade Centers of the Portuguese Empire in the East

Kozhikode (Calicut)/ Kannur/ Hormuz/ St. George de la Mina. BRAUN, G. and HOGENBERG, F. [Cologne, 1572]
Calechut Celeberimum Indiae Emporium/ Ormus/ Canonor/ S. Georgii Oppidum Mina... 13 x 18 ½ inches
Fine hand color; fine condition.


Fine first issue of this group of city views depicting four important Portuguese trading ports on the Indian Ocean and the Guinea Coast. Calicut and Canonor, on the southwest coast of India, were already rich trade cities prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. Calicut, in particular, is shown as a splendid and exotic port, with many ships riding at anchor, a royal procession, and a busy shipyard employing working elephants. Hormuz, positioned at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, was another crucial strategic and economic stronghold held by the Portuguese. The view – apparently without reference to the actual town that it does not resemble – portrays Hormuz as an imposing fortress. The last location depicted, Saint George de la Mina, is located not on the Indian ocean but on the Guinea coast of Africa. This fortress was initially the most important Portuguese trading source for gold in western Africa; later on it would become a major hub in the slave trade.

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