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The Mapping of North America

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ORTELIUS, Abraham – BOAZIO, Baptista

Irlandiae Accurata Descriptio Auctore Baptista Boazio

Jan Baptist Vrients, Antwerp, 1606-[12]
440 x 575 mm., early wash colour, light toning along the centrefold, trimmed as usual with minimal loss to vertical margins,otherwise in good condition.
A good example of an extremely decorative map of Ireland orientated with north to the right. The seas are filled with ships and monsters. In 1605 Jan Baptist Vrients, the publisher of Abraham Ortelius’ ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’, commissioned the production of two special maps for the proposed English edition issued the following year. One of these is this fine ornate map of the whole of Ireland derived from the Baptista Boazio two-sheet, separately published map of 1599, which survives in only three known examples. The first state bore a dedication to James I, proclaiming him King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. For the next edition in Italian text of 1608 this presented a problem. The Catholic powers did not accept James, King of a Protestant country, as King of France and Ireland in particular. Clearly, he had not given himself enough time to re-engrave the plate so a paste over was printed to cover and alter the offending words.

The correction was made to the plate for the 1609 editions in Latin and Spanish. The reference upper right is now to St. Patrick and translates as ‘Saint Patrick was sent by Pope Celestinus from France to Ireland in the year 433 to convert the Irish to the Christian faith, whose body now rests in the diocese of Dunen, also called Down, together with those of Saints Columba and Brigida’. According to Bonar-Law the combination of the second state of the plate and Latin text indicates a date of issue of 1612.

Provenance: private English collection acquired 1996. Andrews (2007) ‘Colonial Cartography in a European Setting: The Case of Tudor Ireland’, in ‘The History of Cartography’ volume 3 part 2 pp. 1675-76; Bonar-Law (1997) pp. 6-9; Bonar-Law, Andrew & Charlotte (2013) pp. 16-17; Marcel van den Broecke, Ortelius Atlas Maps no.23, state 2; Kelly ‘Maps of the British Isles, England and Wales, and Ireland’, in ‘Mappae Antiquae Liber Amicorum Günter Schilder’ pp. 233-7; Jonathan Potter, Collecting Antique Maps, p. 96.
Stock number: 9988

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