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Speculum orbis terrae.
Oblong folio (550 x 425 mm). 2 pts. in 1 vol. 19th c. marbled boards. 11 pp. (dedicatio and introductio mathemathica), 2 pp. (catalogus authorum and index 1). With 1 (instead of 2) engraved titles, 6 engraved diagrams, woodcut table and 108 maps on 82 (instead of 83) mapsheets & 2 plates; title, diagrams, maps and even woodcut initials all hand-coloured by a contemporary hand, raised in gilt & silver. Green cloth ties.
The rarest and most sought-after atlas of the 16th century, a copy in splendid, unsurpassed luxury colour referred to as "Fuerstenkolorit" reserved for the highest nobility. This second edition, with 22 additional maps not in the 1578 first edition, was prepared by Gerald de Jode himself and was completed by his son Cornelius after Gerald's death in 1591. Cornelius is responsible for ten of the newly added maps, including the world, North America, China, Australia, and Alaska. The brilliant colouring of our copy is executed by a master colourist and shows an exceptional luminance: all cities are dotted in gold; the mythical creatures, ships, fish, and figures are raised in silver and gold. Dozens of minutely differentiated hues even within the infilled colour make each map a perfect, individual masterpiece. The colour surpasses by far that of the finest copy that has surfaced on the market previously: that copy lacked the meticulously nuanced colour shades as well as the gold and silver touches which accentuate even the finest details of our copy, such as the glowing eyes of the allegorical demons (cf. Wardington copy, Sotheby's, Oct 18, 2005, lot 219: £240,000 including buyer's premium). Apart from that copy, only two others turned up at auction during the past decades, both severely incomplete and damaged (Christie's New York, Oct 29, 1992, lot 91, and Zisska Munich, May 5-8, 1998, lot 2792; the latter an uncoloured copy).
Margins of a few maps stained or browned; dedication leaves and first text leaves slighly waterstained. Most maps creased at the fold, some with marginal tears or repairs, but overall not more than ten affecting the image of the map. Plate 3 in vol. 2 with with large traces of old restoration to the reverse. One of the two plates depicting the Emperor and Knights of the Order of the Holy Roman Empire shows some loss to the image. Wants the title page of vol. 1, two leaves of text, and the fourth map in vol. 3 (Suetia).
"Both editions of the 'Speculum' are of great rarity. Van Ortroy knew of the second edition only 14 copies" (Skelton, Introduction to the facsimile editions). Even Koeman traces no more than 10 copies of this edition in institutional possession worldwide, to which OCLC adds only 9 more (of which 5 are outside the US).
Koeman II, Jod 2. Van der Krogt 32.02. Shirley, British Library T.JOD-1c. Phillips 399. Nordenskjöld 95. Ortroy, Fern van, L'oeuvre cartographique de Gerard et de Corneille de Jode, Gand 1914, 82-121.