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Quad's First Atlas of the Whole World

First Edition with this Title, Early Variant. 

Matthias Quad's Geographisch Handtbuch is the first atlas of the world published in German. It expand on his earlier publication of 1592, Europae totius orbis terrarum. The most important additions are the five maps covering the New World, which Quad based on the work of de Jode, Mercator and Ortelius. The map of the Strait of Magellan is taken from Wytfliet's Descriptionis Ptolemaicae augmentum of 1597.

This is an early variant with the maps of Germania and Waldeck not yet replaced by new ones, also the 2 leaves with dedication and preface including engraved coat of arms are not yet included. World map and engraved title colored (few colors only), 2 further maps with borders of the cartouche, town symbols colored in green. Mounted on guards when bound.

All maps with German text on verso. Contains World Map (Shirley 197), continents, area maps of Africa (1), Asia (5), America (3), North Pole & North America. Winds map, other European countries (including Cyprus and Asia Minor, Navari 47 & 48) and German regional maps. The two maps 11 and 33 (Germania after Ortelius and Waldeck, QUA 2 and 21) are not yet replaced by the new maps QUA 76 and 77; on map 66 (Greece) the initial "E" is still printed inverted (corrected later).

Meurer, page 202, noting the importance of the atlas in the Quad oeuvre:

Mit diesem Weltatlas mit 82 Karten geht er über den bisher vorgegebenen Rahmen hinaus. Diesem Werk kommt in der Kartengeschichte eine eminente Bedeutung zu. Es ist dies der erste Atlas in der von den niederländischen Editoren entwickelten Form, der in originaldeutscher Sprache erschienen ist.

[With this 82-map World Atlas, he goes beyond the limits set previously, and this work has eminent importance in the history of the map, being the first atlas in the form developed by the Dutch and published first in the German language.]

The five maps relating to America and the New World are:

Map 1: Typus Orbis Terrarum [world map] 

Map 78: Novi orbis pars borealis, America scilicet, complectens Floridam, Baccalaon, Canadam, Terram Corterialem, Virginiam ... [North America]

Map 79: Hispaniae Novae Sive Magnae Vera Descriptio [Mexico]

Map 80: Peruuia id estl Novi Orbis pars Meridionalis a praestantissima eius in Occidetem regione sic appellata [Peru]

Map 81: Chica sive Patagonica et Australis Terra [Strait of Magellan]


Condition Description
Small folio (10.75 x 7.75 inches). 20th-century mottled calf antique, spine gilt (very slightly rubbed). Engraved title and 82 double-page engraved maps (3 hand-colored) with German text on verso. Light browning, occasionally stronger or some staining. Title somewhat dusty, with small marginal tears and 1 tear affecting image. 8 maps with underlining in red. Approximately 4-inch-long tear to world map restored, a few others with small and mostly repaired marginal defects, larger printer's crease to map of North Pole. All the sheets have been re-guarded at folds. Very early manuscript annotation on verso of map 60. Manuscript ownership note in lower margin of title: "M. Nicodemi Sitzlini (?)" dated 1612.
VD 16, Q 8. Meurer Qua 6. Phillips Atlases 411. Sabin 66894. European Americana 600/72. Servies, Bibliography of Florida 94.
Matthias Quad Biography

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.