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The item illustrated and described below is sold, but we have another example in stock. To view the example which is currently being offered for sale, click the "View Details" button below.
1597 circa Cornelis van Wytfliet
$ 975.00
Description

An Early Map of Cuba and Jamaica (with the Cayman Islands)

Nice example of Johannes Metellus's double-page engraved map of Cuba, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, and the western part of Hispaniola.

The place names on Jamaica are all Spanish names, with Pa del Negrillo (Negril) the only name which survives. The treatment of Cuba is quite exceptional, with Havana, Matanzas and Puerto Principis (Nuevitas) all prominently show, along iwth some interior topography.

The map is based upon Cornelis Wytfliet's map of the same title, issued in 1598.  As noted by Burden:

In 1597 Cornelis van Wytfliet published his Augmentum to Ptolemy's Geography. This is true in as much as it covers all the Americas, a part of the world unknown to the latter; however, no other connection between them exists. Dedicated to Philip III of Spain it is a history of the New World to date, recording its discovery, natural history etc. For the book Wytfliet had engraved nineteen maps, by whom we do not know, one of the world and eighteen regional maps of the Americas. . . As such this book can be truly called the first atlas of America. It was an immediate success and ran to several editions.

The Metellus map is very rare on the market. This is the first example w have ever offered for sale.

Johannes Matalius Metellus Biography

Johannes Matalius Metellus, also known as Jean Matal or Johannes Metellus Sequanas, was born in Poligny, Burgundy, France in ca. 1517. A humanist scholar, he was a polymath devoted to cartography, geography, law, paleography, and antiquarianism. Late in life he published a series of atlases; all his maps and atlases are rare and highly sought-after.

Matal was educated at Dole, Freiburg, and several Italian institutions. At Bologna, he met Antonio Agustín, a Spanish legal scholar, who recruited Matal to be his secretary. Together, the men researched ecclesiastical law, with an especial emphasis on Roman legal manuscripts, with trips to Venice, Florence, and elsewhere in Italy to study codices. In 1555, the two traveled to England to meet with Queen Mary on a mission for the Church.

After leaving his employment with Agustín, Matal traveled in the Low Countries and eventually settled in Cologne. There, he mixed with other savants, including especially Georg Cassander and Pedro Ximénez. It was in Cologne that Matal began his serious interest in mapmaking. He contributed to Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitae Orbis Terrarum; Georg Braun described him in glowing terms, “vir omni scientiarum genere praestans"—"a man outstanding in every form of knowledge."  

Late in life, Matal began preparing a set of maps of the entire world. In 1594, he published an atlas of France, Austria, and Switzerland (39 maps), in 1595 an atlas of Spain (10 maps), and, posthumously, an atlas of Italy (37 maps), and one of Germany and the Netherlands (55 maps). Many of these maps were combined and augmented into atlases of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the world’s islands. In 1602, a compendium work showcased all of these previous works called Speculum Orbis Terrae; this atlas was well received by contemporaries like Walter Raleigh and is very rare today. Many of these maps and atlases were released after his death in 1598, they were finished by his friend and fellow mapmaker Conrad Loew (Matthias Quad).