Copper engraved map sheet with full contemporary colour, with no text on verso, recently remounted upon a larger sheet of paper with added French lines in gilt and blue (excellent original colour, map trimmed to neatline as it was once bound in a contemporary atlas factice, lower part trimmed into the image with loss of image, a tiny professionally repaired hole), map proper: 35 x 50,5 cm (13.8 x 19.9 inches).
A detailed, original coloured separately issued map of Spain and Portugal was made by Gerard de Jode.
This example, corresponding the 1578 state, was published separately without text on the back and bound in an atlas factice. It was originally coloured with a magnificent late 16th full hand colour, close to the frescoes of the Gallery of Maps in Vatican, which were made between 1580-1583.
Such colouring, which is more typical for the murals, and is seldom seen on works of paper. It is amongst the most decorative 16th century colouring we have encountered.
Separately Published Maps by de Jode
This is a separately issued edition without text on the back, corresponding to the state, published in 1578 atlas Speculum Orbis Terrarum by Gerard de Jode.
As most of the 1578 de Jode maps were issued with text on the back in an atlas, examples were also sold by the author separately without the text (Shirley, p. 51, no. 119; KOEMAN, Atlantes Neerlandici, vol. 2, p. 206). De Jode’s grand project to make an elaborate atlas was namely extremely costly, time consuming and unlucrative, and the author would, as it was normal at the time, sell maps separately on demand to pay his daily costs. Only a small number of atlases was actually sold.
The survival rate of de Jode’s separately published maps is extremely low due to their large format. They would, like our map, usually survive in privately composed atlases.
This map was contemporary coloured and mounted back to back with another map in an atlas factice. All the maps from this atlas fragment were trimmed to the neatline and re-margined in order to obtain equal sizes of sheets in the atlas. Such practice was common in the 16th century composite atlases.
The map has recently undergone professional restoration whereby it was removed from its contemporary backing and remounted upon a larger sheet of paper with added decorative French lines in gilt and blue. The map’s stellar period colour and gilt highlights have been fully preserved.
The lower part of the map was contemporary trimmed, possibly to match the size of the atlas.
References: KOEMAN, Atlantes Neerlandici, vol. 2 (Amsterdam, 1969), Jod 1 (24) – an example with text verso.