FINE MAP OF THE AMERICAS
La Sphere des deux mondes, composee en Francois, par Darinel, pasteur des Amadis
Antwerp, Iehan Richard, au Soleil d’Or, 1555.
FIRST EDITION. 8vo. ff. (iv) 57 (i.e. 58), (ii) . π⁴ A-M⁴, N4(N2 folding+’N3′), O-P⁴ last blank. Roman and Italic letter. Woodcut printer’s device on title, another on verso of last, woodcut initials, historiated woodcut tailpiece, typographical ornaments, 28 small woodcut illustrations in text, 19 full page maps, one folding. Age yellowing, t-p slightly dusty, two small tears in lower margin just touching imprint with no loss, some marginal soiling in places, the odd ink splash or mark, outer upper corner torn to map of Tunis with minor loss, tiny single worm hole in first four quires. A good copy in modern limp vellum antique, yapp edges remains of ties, spine with morocco label gilt.
A most interesting and unusual cosmography, exceptionally rare and beautifully illustrated with 19 important early maps including a fine world map and the most important Bellère map of the New World. Boileau de Bouillon was savant polymath who had extensive knowledge of various languages, principally French, Flemish, Latin, German and Spanish. He seems to have lived for many years in Liege and Antwerp before joining the service of Charles V with whose forces he travelled to Germany, France, Hungary and Italy. He was named ‘Commissaire et Controleur’ of the town of Cambrai for his services, but fell in disgrace shortly afterwards and had to take refuge in Paris, where he was taken in by Nicolas de Herberay, ‘Seigneur des Essarts’ who was also famous for his translations. He made his living with the pen as a poet and translator, but also with a particular interest in geographies and map-making. Apart from the fine series of maps in this work he published two very important original maps of Burgundy and Belgium.
This work is composed, curiously, of both text and poetry. The maps are not of his creation but are most judiciously chosen as the most up to date and accurate of the period. The 19 woodcut maps include a beautiful cordiform map of the world: “Universalis Cosmographia” and a very rare map of the Americas: Jean Bellère “Peru, brevis exactaque totius Novi Orbis ejusque Insularum descriptio recens a Joan Bellero edita.” This map “was popular during the middle of the sixteenth century and had great influence in showing more accurately the size and shape of the great South American continent” ‘World’. It is a particularly important and influential map, illustrating the south of the US, Central America, the Antilles, Bermuda and the Azores, and South America down to Magellan’s Strait. Apart from ‘Cuzco’ ‘Xaquixaguana’ and ‘Quito’, only coastal towns are covered, although the mountains of the southern USA, the Andes and the river Amazon are shown. Each map is accompanied by a curious cosmographical stanza. This is a particularly rare work and according to American Book Prices Current, no copy sold at auction in the past 35 years.
BM STC Dutch C16th p. 59 (under Darinel.) Alden & Landis 555/4. ‘Contains also the Bellère map of the New World found in edns of Cieza de Leon & Gomara of 1554’. Church 101. Sabin 18576. “A poetical volume of some rarity” see ‘The World Encompassed’ 201. JCB I:185.