Fascinating map showing the voyage of George Gifford, the earl of Cumberland, in 1590. Cumberland travelled to Puerto Rico four years after Sir Francis Drake's attempted siege of San Juan led to disaster and the death of John Hawkins, who found himself on the wrong end of a Spanish cannonball. Gifford arrived in San Juan in 1590. Starting 80 miles east of San Juan, he led an attack on the city, which coincided with an influenza outbreak which crippled the locals. Gifford succeeded in briefly capturing El Morro, the influenza ravished his men and he was forced to retreat several weeks later. This map shows Cumberland's voyage to and from the Caribbean and extends west to show most of North and South America. In the early 18th Century, Vander Aa reproduced a number of rare manuscript and printed accounts of 16th Century Travel to America and included marvelous decorative maps, which were typically based upon contemporary cartographic information. Many of the earliest voyages of exploration which are impossibly rare to find in the original editions can be found in Vander Aa's works, which are now becoming increasing rare. This example is in an attractive full wash color. A bit of minor creasing, otherwise a marvelous example.
Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher who printed pirated editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated books, but is best known for his voluminous output of maps and atlases. Van der Aa was born to a German stonecutter from Holstein. Interestingly, all three van der Aa sons came to be involved in the printing business. Hildebrand was a copper engraver and Boudewyn was a printer.