THEVET, Andre (1516-1590). Cosmographie universelle... Tome quatrieme partie du monde, illustree de nostre Temps. [Paris: L'Huillier, 1575.]
Folio (14 6/8 x 9 4/8 inches). Exceptionally fine double-page woodcut map of North and South America, with original hand-colour in full, 42 fine woodcut vignettes throughout, some of them half-page (the early pages affected by pale marginal waterstains). Contemporary calf each cover decorated with a central arabesque medallion (rebacked to style, extremities worn, endpapers renewed, but attractive).
Provenance: one or two early marginal annotations.
First edition, volume four only, the volume in which Thevet describes his voyage to South America. With Thevet's celebrated map of the Americas in an unrecorded state, as Burden's first state but without the title above the neatline, but with a wide and untrimmed top margin.
"André Thevet was a Franciscan monk who travelled extensively in Europe and made a reputed short journey to South America. Upon his return he records that he sailed along the eastern coast of North America ... The fine map ... relies largely on the Mercator model of 1569, most noticeably with the bulge to the north-west coast of North America. The southern continent, 'Partie de la Terre Antartique Incogneue', is full of descriptions of natives hunting, fishing and socialising. The geography and nomenclature of North America are largely derived from other sources. The quality of this block is very high and it is a shame that it is not more easily found" (Burden 46).
The other woodcuts include some iconic images of the natural history and culture of the native Americans, such as sweet potatoes, a magnificent portrait of King Quoniambec of Brazil, tobacco plants, a pineapple, and many scenes of savagery. Also rudimentary maps of the islands of Trinity and Hispaniola. Alden-Landis 575/31; Sabin 95335; Borba de Moraes II, 859; Nissen ZBI 4110; Ronsil 2906. Catalogued by Kate Hunter