Striking example of Merian's first map of America, first published in 1631 to accompany Gottfried's Newew Welt und Americanische Historien. The map is derived from Jodocus Hondius' map of 1618, but with significantly more embellishment within the map images, including 6 sailing shipsand 3 sea monsters. Includes a marvelous peninsular California with the NW Coast of America stretch almost due westward toward Asia, with over 30 place names. Includes an unusual East Coast of North America, packed full of placenames, including Chesapiooc (Chesapeake), Sanawanook, Hatoraske (Hatteras); Charlefort, Cap de S. Roman, etc. Curious bulging Virginia Coastline. No Great Lakes are shown, nor does Long Island appear. Oversized South America, with Indians and Animal vignettes in the interior. The Rio Grande flows into the Gulf of California. The 7 cities of Cibola appear on a lake, which is the apparent source of the Rio Grande. Striking dark impression. Merian's map was re-issued on a reduced size and without embellishments beginning in 1638, however, this large version is quite scarce. Minor traces of soiling along old folds, but generally a very nice example. Burden 235.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century