Amsterdam: Arnold Montanus, 1671. unbound. View. Copper plate engraving. Image measures 10.5 x 14"
This view depicts the port of St. Augustine, one of the oldest cities in what would become the United States. First settled by the Spanish in 1565, the port became the northernmost base of operations for Spanish trade in the West Indies. Here, the city is shown in full swing, with ships and boats docked outside the city's walls, beyond which some buildings and a church are visible. In the foreground, slaves and Native Americans work and accompany a European woman to the coast. The view appeared in Montanus's "Die Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld: of Beschryving van America." It is a dark impression in very good condition with no chips or tears. Stain to lower left corner of page, not affecting the image. German text below and on verso. Arnold Montanus (1625-1683) was a Dutch theologian, historian, author, and publisher best known for his encyclopedia of the New World, entitled "Die Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld." His travelogues, as well as the famous volume that developed out of them, were rich with geographical, cultural, and scientific information. John Ogilby (1600-1676) is often noted in the literature for his wide ranging pursuits--dancer, actor, translator, tutor, among others--that, more often than not, ended in failure. But rather than thinking of these pursuits as unsuccessful, they might be better considered as steps toward his ultimate destiny: cartography. Ogilby got his first taste of the trade in 1666--himself at the age of 66--by surveying and mapping London after the Great Fire. The project inspired him to pursue and publish geographical descriptions of the wider world, including China, Japan, and Africa. In 1675, a year after he was appointed "Kings Cosmographer and Geographic Painter," he published the defining work of his career, a road atlas of England entitled "Britannia." The original volume was the first road atlas ever published and was notable for its scale of one inch to a standard mile. This impressive and innovative volume finally secured Ogilby's place in the history books one of the most memorable and important figures of 17th-century cartography.