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Old, antique map of the Iberian Peninsula by Gerard de Jode 1578

In 1578 Gerard de Jode published his Speculum Orbis Terrarum, an atlas aimed at competing with the Theatrum of Ortelius. However, the latter had first been issued in 1570 and had already built a commanding market presence, and so despite de Jode's longer standing reputation the atlas did not sell very well. Only a dozen or so examples have survived. Undeterred, he made plans for another expanded edition, and upon his death in 1591 it was taken on by his son Cornelis. The Speculum Orbis Terrae of 1593 likewise did not sell well and was never reissued. Although more examples than the first edition have survived, it too is very scarce. Many of de Jode's maps are judged to be superior to those of Ortelius, both in detail and style.


Gerard and Cornelis de Jode

Gerard de Jode (Judaeus) (1508(?)-1591), a native of Nijmegen, began his career as a printer and engraver in Antwerp about 1550. He lived on the Catelijne Veste, or on "de Catte", near the Bourse. He was in regular contact with Christoffel Plantin, to whom he sold many prints and maps. De Jode's business, which must have been a major one among Antwerp's many booksellers and printers, was represented at the Frankfurt fair, where de Jode bought maps that he later copied or re-sold. Most of the maps sold by De Jode have prototypes of Italian or German origin. Apart from his many separately published maps, Gerard de Jode is known for his atlas, Speculum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1578. Part of the engraving was done by himself, part by brothers Jan and Lucas van Doetecum.
Gerard de Jode and Abraham Ortelius, who partly lived as map sellers, were competitors and not always on good terms.
After the death of Gerard de Jode in 1591, the business was carried on by his widow Pascale van Gelder and by his son Cornelis (1568-1600). The latter, more a publisher than an engraver, reissued the Speculum in 1593, adding new maps and revising others.
Despite all its deficiencies, the Speculum must have had a good reputation. It is mentioned alongside Mercator's Atlas and Ortelius's Theatrum in Petrus Montanus's preface to the Germania Inferior of Pieter van den Keere.

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Item Number:  1405
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Spain and Portugal
References: Van der Krogt 3 - 7800:32; Zacharakis - 1161; Karrow - 51:10.1; TNH Doet3 - 574 /I

Antique map of the Iberian Peninsula by G. de Jode

Cartographer: Pirro Ligorio: Based on his map, published by Michele Tramezini in Rome in 1559.

Date of the first edition: 1578
Date of this map: 1578

Copper engraving
Size: 38.5 x 51cm (14.9 x 19.9 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Contemporary old coloured, small wormhole at bottom left.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 3, 7800:32; Zacharakis, 1161; Karrow, 51:10.1; TNH Doet3, 574 /I.

From: Speculum Orbis Terrae. Antwerp, G. De Jode, 1578. (Van der Krogt 3, 32:01)

Extremely rare first state, without the "Cum privilegio" in the lower left corner.

In 1578 Gerard de Jode published his Speculum Orbis Terrarum, an atlas aimed at competing with the Theatrum of Ortelius. However, the latter had first been issued in 1570 and had already built a commanding market presence, and so despite de Jode's longer standing reputation the atlas did not sell very well. Only a dozen or so examples have survived. Undeterred, he made plans for another expanded edition, and upon his death in 1591 it was taken on by his son Cornelis. The Speculum Orbis Terrae of 1593 likewise did not sell well and was never reissued. Although more examples than the first edition have survived, it too is very scarce. Many of de Jode's maps are judged to be superior to those of Ortelius, both in detail and style.


Gerard and Cornelis de Jode

Gerard de Jode (Judaeus) (1508(?)-1591), a native of Nijmegen, began his career as a printer and engraver in Antwerp about 1550. He lived on the Catelijne Veste, or on "de Catte", near the Bourse. He was in regular contact with Christoffel Plantin, to whom he sold many prints and maps. De Jode's business, which must have been a major one among Antwerp's many booksellers and printers, was represented at the Frankfurt fair, where de Jode bought maps that he later copied or re-sold. Most of the maps sold by De Jode have prototypes of Italian or German origin. Apart from his many separately published maps, Gerard de Jode is known for his atlas, Speculum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1578. Part of the engraving was done by himself, part by brothers Jan and Lucas van Doetecum.
Gerard de Jode and Abraham Ortelius, who partly lived as map sellers, were competitors and not always on good terms.
After the death of Gerard de Jode in 1591, the business was carried on by his widow Pascale van Gelder and by his son Cornelis (1568-1600). The latter, more a publisher than an engraver, reissued the Speculum in 1593, adding new maps and revising others.
Despite all its deficiencies, the Speculum must have had a good reputation. It is mentioned alongside Mercator's Atlas and Ortelius's Theatrum in Petrus Montanus's preface to the Germania Inferior of Pieter van den Keere.

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