Rare 1593 de Jode map of the Black and Caspian Seas, with the eastern Mediterranean and a prominent Cyprus

Primae Partis Asiae accurata delineatio…

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SKU: NL-00395 Category: Tag:
Date: 1593
Place: Antwerp
Dimensions: 30 x 54 cm (11.8 x 21.3 in)
Condition Rating: VG
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De Jode’s rare map presenting the Black and Caspian Seas, the Mediterranean in the west, and Afghanistan and Central Asia in the East. Cyprus is prominently shown in the eastern Mediterranean.

De Jode was a competitor of Ortelius. His atlas Speculum Orbis Terrarum did not enjoy the same commercial success as Ortelius, despite many modern commentators alleging the superiority of many of De Jode’s efforts. Consequently, today his maps are very rare and highly desirable.

Verso text: Latin. Engraved by the van Deutecum brothers, based upon an earlier map by Gastaldi.


Gerard & Cornelis de Jode

Gerard de Jode (1511–91) was a Dutch printer and mapmaker born in Nijmegen but working from the metropolis of Antwerp. One of the most competent and reputable Dutch cartographers of the 16th century, he did not fare so well business-wise, as the competition was stark and his mercantile sense perhaps not so shrewd. In 1547, he was accepted into the Guild of St Luke’s in Antwerp and began working as a publisher and printer. De Jode quickly won recognition as an expert mapmaker in a city renowned for its cartographic output. His most outstanding achievement was a magnificent two-volume atlas titled Speculum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1578. The idea was to create an atlas that could compete with Abraham Ortelius’ hugely popular Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published to great acclaim only eight years earlier. Despite De Jode’s status and reputation, his atlas was not a commercial success. The lack of circulation in 1578 has a lasting legacy today in that it is now one of the rarest and sought-after atlases, with only about a dozen copies known to exist.

Despite this lack of commercial success (or perhaps because of it), Gerard began working on a new and revised atlas. For this task, he recruited his son, Cornelis De Jode (1568-1600), as an assistant, and together, they compiled another innovative atlas titled Speculum Orbis Terrae, published in 1593. Sadly, Gerard de Jode died of old age less than two years before its publication, but perhaps he was spared the embarrassment of another commercial failure. Even though the new atlas contained both Gerard’s original maps, it also included several vital revisions and a range of entirely new maps compiled by Cornelis.

Like their 1578 predecessors, these 1593 maps are also scarce, especially since after Cornelius’ death, the engraving plates were sold to his competitor, J. B. Vrients (who also owned the Ortelius plates), who assured that the complete work would never be published again. Thus, while myriad editions of Ortelius were published and survive today, only the 1578 and 1593 form the legacy of the De Jode family.

Condition Description

Very good condition. Slightly reduced margins but still ample for framing. Very minor margin toning.


Al-Qasimi p. 31.