BOTERO, Giovanni (1533-1617). Allgemeine Historische Weltbeschreibung. Munich: Nicolaus Heinrich, 1611

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BOTERO, Giovanni (1533-1617). Allgemeine Historische Weltbeschreibung... in vier Bücher abgetheilt: Im ersten wirdt Europa, Asia, Affrica, vnd die Sitten..., im andern wirdt die Macht..., im dritten wirdt gehandlet von dem Standt deß Glaubens..., im vierten von den Aberglauben der Völcker der Newen Welt. Munich, Nicolaus Heinrich, 1611.


4 parts in one volume. Small folio (11 4/8 x 7 4/8 inches). Title-page printed in red and black with woodcut device, 5 exceptionally fine folding engraved maps of the World and four continents by Matthias Quad engraved by Johann Bussemecher or Quad (one or two insignificant marginal tears). Contemporary limp vellum, the title in manuscript on a paper label on the spine, yapp fore-edges (lacking two pairs of ties, rubbed).

Provenance: with the ownership inscription of the Benedictine monastery at Tegernsee, suppressed 1803, on the title-page; with the shelfmark of SIR THOMAS PHILLIPPS (1792–1872), and inscribed "MHC" in pencil on the front paste-down; with Philip Robinson, his sale Sotheby's, Thursday 23rd June 1988, lot 124.

Alden 611.6; JCB II, p. 74; Borba de Moraes (1983), p. 113

Second German edition, with maps by Quadt: Typus Orbis Terrarum, ad Imitationem Universalis Gerhardi Mercatoris", first issued in Cologne in 1596, "reduced from Mercator's planispherical map of 1569, with the addition of a figure of Christ in an oval frame at the top.... South America still has its uncorrected bulge..."(Shirley 197); Europa; Asia; Aphrica; and Novi Orbis pars borealis, based on the map by de Jode 1593, Quad employed "Johannes Bussemacher to engrave this attractive map of North America which is largely a reduced version of Cornelius de Jode's AMERICAE PARS BOREALIS. De Jode was the first to make use of both John White's and Jacques le Moyne's east coast cartography, though he innacurately placed it. Quad here continues the mistake of placing the nomenclature of Virginia too far north. A long narrow waterway to the north encourages the belief in a North West Passage... A curious 'second' peninsula is shown to the west of Florida which could be an early representation of the Mississippi delta..." (Burden 82).

Botero was one of the greatest economists of the 16th-century, and when he wrote this work in 1592, it was considered one of the best geographies for more than a century, being translated into several languages. A description of America appears in the fourth part.  

From the distinguished library of Sir Thomas Phillipps "His true memorial lies in his collection; dispersed though it is, its formation was a great achievement. He was well aware that much of what he gathered was at risk of destruction. He bid high in the rooms and forced the market upwards against himself, but he recognized that higher prices would encourage preservation. In 1869 he wrote jokingly to Robert Curzon, ‘I am buying Printed Books because I wish to have one copy of every Book in the World!!!!!’ (Munby, 1.38). That was clearly impossible, but his collection of over 60,000 manuscripts was an outstanding achievement in the annals of bibliophily" (Alan Bell for DNB). Sabin 6808; Borba de Moraes 114.