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Fine early pair of maps of the Baltic / North Sea and Russia from the 16th Century.

The first map shows the Kingdom of Livonia, based upon the work of Antwerp mapmaker Joannes Portantius.  Portantius, a contemporary of De Jode, may have drawn this map from Livonia maps by Marcus Ambrosius and Caspar Henneberger (Meurer p. 218).

The map of Russia is based upon the map of Englishman Anthony Jenkinson.    Jenkinson was one of the first Englishmen to explore Muscovy and present-day Russia. Jenkinson was a traveller and explorer on behalf of the Muscovy Company and the English crown. He also met Ivan the Terrible several times during his trips to Moscow and Russia.  

The De Jode Atlas

This map appeared in the second edition, or re-issue, Gerard De Jode's atlas, Speculum orbis terrae (first edition Antwerp: 1578) . Gerard De Jode (1509-1591) released his atlas in a golden age of Dutch atlas production: the first atlas was released in 1570, also in Antwerp, the first town atlas in 1572, the first pocket atlas in 1577, the first regional atlas in 1579, the first nautical atlas in 1584, and the first historical atlas in 1595. The first atlas was Ortelius' Theatrum orbis terrarium, and De Jode's was intended as competition for Ortelius'. Mercator was also preparing an atlas at the time, and corresponded with Ortelius, but it would not appear in full until 1595, a year after Mercator's death.

Although the Speculum was ready as early as 1573, it was not published until 1578. This is most likely due to Ortelius' influence and his privilege over atlas publishing, which expired just before De Jode finally published. The atlas was the result of collaboration between De Jode, the geographer Jan van Schille of Antwerp, German physician Daniel Cellarius, and the etchers Joannes and Lucas van Doetecum.

Although never as successful as Ortelius' Theatrum, the Speculum did get republished in a second edition in 1593, two years after De Jode's death, by Arnold Coninx, and included this map. After his death, Gerard's son, Cornelis (1568-1600), and his wife, Paschina, ran the shop. Unfortunately, Cornelis died young in 1600, aged only 32, and the stock and plates were sold to the publisher Joan Baptista Vrients. Vrients had also recently purchased the plates for Theatrum, giving him a monopoly over Antwerp atlas publication. Vrients acquired the De Jode atlas plates only to suppress them in favor of the Ortelius plates, thus the De Jode atlas maps are quite rare on the market today.

Burden 82. Wagner, NW Coast, 171. Edward Brooke Hitchings, The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps (London: Simon & Schuster, 2016), 12-17. Thomas Suarez, Early Mapping of the Pacific (Hong Kong: Periplus, 2004). Lawrence C. Wroth, “The Early Cartography of the Pacific,” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 38, no. 2 (1944): 87-268.