A 16th Century Map of South America
One of the earliest obtainable maps of the South American Continent, engraved in Cologne by Johann Bussemacher for Quad.
The map is preceded by the maps of Forlani and De Jode and is one of only a few separate maps of the continent of South America published prior to 1600.
Embellished with sea monsters and sailing ships, a narrow Strait of Magellan is shown, with a large unknown southern continent. Magellan's ship is illustrated in the Pacific. Several interesting annotations are shown in Latin.
Matthias Quad (1557-1613), a map publisher based in Cologne, was trained in the Netherlands by Johannes van Doetecum, who also worked with the De Jodes. Quad used many De Jode maps as a base to which he added additional information and decorations. Quad was best known for his atlases, which were part of the first boom in atlases best characterized by Abraham Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. In 1592, Quad released an atlas of Europe that had 38 maps. He expanded it in 1594 to 50 maps. In 1600, he expanded the collection of maps further still, this time to 82 maps, and called the atlas, Geographisch Handtbuch. All three were small in size, allowing them to compete as cheaper alternatives to the larger atlases of Ortelius, Mercator, and the De Jodes. Quad released one other atlas, in 1608, with 86 maps, the Fascilus Geographicus.