Ramusio Brazil c1554

Stock Code 26002

Giovanni Battista Ramusio - Giacomo Gastaldi

Price: £ 1500

Giovanni Battista Ramusio - Giacomo Gastaldi


Untitled Woodblock Map of Brazil [Brasil]

37 x 27.5 cms. Uncoloured. Fine condition.

A very finely engraved woodblock map of Brazil, included in Volume III of Ramusio’s Della Navigationi e Viaggi as an illustration of the account of voyages to the Americas & South East Asia, purportedly from the work a French sea captain from Dieppe dating from around 1539.  Ramusio was perhaps fortunate to be able to access this French information, very little contemporary information having been published from such Breton & Norman sources or from the famous contemporary Dieppe school of cartographers. Discovered in 1500 and claimed for Portugal by Cabral, Brazil was in fact for much of the early 16th Century the source of considerable French trade. In 1503 Paulmier de Gonneville of Honfleur, writing a report to the admiralty of Rouen, noted that for several years back sailors from Dieppe and St.Malo have been [there] to fetch red dye-wood, cotton, monkeys, parrots and other commodities. Both Verrazano (1528) and Le Testu (1551) had visited and surveyed the coasts of Brazil and trade with its Indians. Wood remained the main commodity traded and from the a royal edict of 1549 made Rouen the centre of this lumber trade. Engraved by fellow Venetian cartographer, Giacomo Gastaldi, the map is orientated with north to the right of the page and shows Brazil prior to the abortive French colonial venture of Villegagnon in 1555. The map extends from the mouth of the Amazon to the River Plate delta. Much detail is given of the north-eastern coasts of Brazil north of Bahia. Both Cabo Frio & the bay of Rio de Janeiro are clearly shown, the latter denoted by the word sonbriere on its southern shore. Further south the Bahia da Isla Grande (C Demagles), Cabo de Sao Sebastiao and Cabo de Sao Fransisco are named & recognisable. The predominant French trade in wood and local wildlife can be seen in the vivid pictorial scenes which adorn the map – native Indians felling trees; timber being exchanged for cups and trinkets with European traders; numerous illustrations of parrots, monkeys and rather curiously, camels ! Innumerable French and Portuguese galleons and a variety of sea monsters adorn the surrounding coastal waters. In all a fine example of this important and sought-after map, one of the earliest separate maps of the country.

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