Single sheet, (21 x 24 5/8 inches; 23 3/8 x 19 ½ inches to the neat line; full margins showing the plate mark). Fine engraved map of Portugal with SPLENDID ORIGINAL HAND COLOR IN FULL, the title within a MAGNIFICENT HISTORIATED CARTOUCHE, the individual regions shown in different bold watercolors of pink, green, and yellow and HEIGHTENED WITH LIQUID GOLD, decorated with a fine compass rose pointing north with a GOLD-ENHANCED FLEUR-DE-LIS, surrounded by a border of yellow wash (short marginal tear not affecting image, old central fold, slightly toned).
A BRILLIANTLY HAND-COLORED map of Portugal with ELABORATE LIQUID GOLD HIGHLIGHTS, embellished with a SUPERBLY ILLUSTRATED historiated title cartouche. The cartouche shows both allegorical and Native American figures, with a ship in the background, emphasizing Portugal's colonial endeavors. The cartouche also features four coats-of-arms and a dedication to Alexandre Nunes da Costa (1655-1712). Da Costa inherited the title of Agent of Portugal in the United Provinces upon his father's death in 1697, and he remained in that position until he died 1712. The Da Costas were one of the most important Sephardic Jewish families in Amsterdam, who had escaped Portugal during the Inquisition. The Sephardic community in Amsterdam played an extremely important role in Dutch colonialism and transatlantic trade, using family networks to facilitate importing goods, in particular, sugar.
Allard was part of a family of map publishers that flourished in Amsterdam during the 17th century, publishing the work of the most illustrious mapmakers of the time, including Blaeu, Jansson, and Visscher. Carel Allard had perfected his style of engraving, and extended his skill beyond maps to engrave portraits of English royalty (in particular William and Mary) and other important subjects.