Thomas Suárez Rare Maps
London ● (+44) 079.1913.0779 ●
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Complete Mer des Histoires

with Medieval Mappamundi and map of Holy Land

Mer Des Histores... Paris, en ka Rue sainct Jaques... Les Angeliers

Lyon 1491 / Paris, 1555 (though dated 1536)

The complete Mer des Hystoires, essentially a chronicle of the world; numerous woodcut illustrations and the two famous maps, from the 1491 woodblocks, of the world and Palestine.


First Post-Columbian Isolario

Bordone's Isolario

Isolario di Benedetto Bordone nel qual si ragiona de tutte l'Isole del mondo... Con la gionta del Monte del Oro nuouamente ritrouato. (1534)

115 woodcut maps, of which 8 are double-page, and 3 are full-page. Quite good and generally clean. Some show-thru of verso as is very typical of this work. Paper covered boards, partially loose from binding.

$ 25,000.

Bordone's work is remarkable as being the first atlas covering the entire world not based mostly on Classical geography; before this atlas, only the Waldseemuller/Ptolemy Geographia, which was essentially a Ptolemaic atlas despite its inclusion of a "modern" regional map covering America, had ventured to chart shores beyond those of the ``old'' world. But with this work Bordone breaks away from this tradition, charting all the heretofore unknown regions of the world, including specific regions of America, basing most of the book on contemporary isolario data rather than on Ptolemy.

Bordone's isolario boasts many cornerstone maps. It is in fact the first atlas ever to contain separate maps of North and South America, and the first to contain regional maps of America. These include :

1. North America
2. Mexico City
3. South America
4. Hispaniola
5. Jamaica
6. Cuba
7. Dominica, etc.
8. Guadalupe
9. Matinina (Martinique -- here Columbius' island of Amazonian women)

The book's world map was responsible for popularizing the oval projection, being preceded in use of the projection only by the rare, separately-published map of Rosselli. Bordone thus set the stage for the many subsequent maps, e.g., those of Grynaeus (1532), Munster (1540), Gastaldi (1546), many of the "Lafreri"-type world maps, and Ortelius (1570/1587). This book also contains the first separate maps of many Asian islands, including the first separate map of Japan (Cimpagu) of European origin. Bordone's map of Mexico City is clearly related to the Cortes map from the second "letter" 1524, but may have been taken from some other source no longer extant, as it differs significantly in specific details from the published version of Cortes' map.

The most prolific geography of the mid-sixteenth century,
whose author "taught nearly three generations of laymen
most of what they knew about the world beyond their native places."

Sebastian Munster, 1555-1560 :
La cosmographie universelle, contenant la situation de toutes les parties du monde, avec leurs proprietez & appartenances... avex privilege du Roy. De Basle l'an 1555 au moys de Novembre. On colophon on last page: Mille cinq centz & soixante (1560). Later (18th century?) calf, scuffed on upper and lower spine; endpapers contemporary with the binding. Generally excellent with good, opaque paper for this work. Occasional foxing but overall a fine example this landmark, encyclopediac volume.

• the portrait of Munster at age 60
• 14 double-page woodcut maps. The famous map of America corresponds to Burden state 11, here apparently a year before its first formal appearance in the German edition of 1561.
• 37 double-page town views on 36 double-pages
• 3 large panoramic views: Heidelberg and Vienna are fold-outs as usual, and are complete, while the large panoramic view of Worms, printed from two woodblocks, is here unjoined, bound as two separate double-page maps
• the double-page “monsters” woodcut
• more than 900 other woodcut illustrations (including repeats), including the David Kendall re-cutting of the Albrecht Dürer rhinoceros.

38 unnumbered leaves, which include the double-page maps, followed by 1397 numbered pages. The double-page view of Florence is loose, separated from the tab (but original to the volume). Occasional single page mis-numbering corrected in pencil without break in sequence, plus a mis-numbering jump from 688-699.

$ 31,000

French edition of this monumental geography that "taught nearly three generations of laymen most of what they knew about the world beyond their native places" (See Karrow, Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century, quoting Gerald Strauss).

Stunning Example of Arias Montanus' Antiquitatum Iudicarum Libri IX
Nine treatises from from Polyglot Bible

With sixteen fine engraved plates

Arias Montanus, Benito, Antiquitatum Iudicarum Libri IX. In quis, praeter Iudaeae, Hierosolymorum, & Templi Salomonis accuratam delineationem, praecipui sacri ac profani gentis ritus describuntur.

Leiden, Franciscus (I) Raphelengius, ex officina Plantiniana, 1593. 4to. Contemporary limp vellum, ink title on upper spine, ties missing. Printer's device of the Officina Plantiniata on the title page. 16 folding maps, plans and views, engraved in the early 1570s by Pieter Huys, Joannes Wierix, Pieter van der Heiden, and others, all but one numbered with MS letters in the lower margins of the plates. Two leaves, then 200 numbered pages, and the folding plates. Excellent impressions throughout. Some wear at some folds in plates, and some tearing where bound, but generally quite fine. World map is state 2 as is correct.

$ 20,000

First and only edition of this rare volume comprising texts which had earned Arias Montanus the wrath of the Inquisition for what were considered "pro-Jewish" passages. The volumes' nine texts had appeared in Volume VIII of the Polyglot Bible, and by the publication of the present volume, the author had been exonerated of the charges.

Benito Arias Montano or Benedictus Arias Montanus (1527-1598), Spanish orientalist and editor of the Antwerp Polyglot, was born at Fregenal de la Sierra, in Extremadura, in 1527. After studying at the universities of Seville and Alcala, he took orders about the year 1559. He became a clerical member of the Military Order of St. James, and accompanied the Bishop of Segovia to the Council of Trent (1562) where he won great distinction.

On his return he retired to a hermitage at Aracena whence he was summoned by Philip II (1568) to supervise a new polyglot edition of the Bible, with the collaboration of many learned men. The work was issued from the Plantin press (1572, 8 volumes) under the title Biblia sacra hebraice chaldaice, graece et latine, Philippi II regis catholici pietate et studio ad sacrosanctae Ecclesiae usum, several volumes being devoted to a scholarly apparatus biblicus. Arias was responsible for a large part of the actual matter, besides the general superintendence, and in obedience to the command of the king took the work to Rome for the approbation of Pope Gregory XIII.

Len de Castro, professor of Oriental languages at Salamanca, to whose translation of the Vulgate Arias had opposed the original Hebrew text, denounced Arias to the Roman, and later to the Spanish Inquisition for having altered the Biblical text, making too liberal use of the rabbinical writings, in disregard of the decree of the Council of Trent concerning the authenticity of the Vulgate, and confirming the Jews in their beliefs by his Chaldaic paraphrases. After several journeys to Rome Arias was freed of the charges (1580) and returned to his hermitage, refusing the episcopal honours offered him by the king. He accepted, however, the post of a royal chaplain, but was only induced to leave his retirement for the purpose of superintending the Escorial library and of teaching Oriental languages.

He led the life of an ascetic, dividing his time between prayer and study. In addition to the works written in connection with the polyglot, the most celebrated of which is Antiquitatum judaicarum libri IX (Leyden, 1593), Arias left many commentaries on various books of the Bible; also: Humanae salutis monumenta (Antwerp, 1571); a Latin translation of the Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, and other works on widely varying subjects. He was also celebrated as a poet, his verses being chiefly of a religious nature.

(- above synopsis of Arias Montanus from Encyclopdia Britannica Eleventh Edition, and the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913).