BARLAEUS, CASPAR. Rerum per Octennium in Brasilia et alibi nuper gestarum, sub Praefectura... J. Mauritii, Nassoviae, &c. comitis... Historia. Amsterdam: Jan Blaeu, 1647. Folio, 446 x 277 mm. (17½ x 10 7/8 in.), contemporary calf, panelled and tooled in blind, rebacked, tightly bound, first and last 2 or 3 leaves with chipping to edges, title marginally discolored and soiled, a few short marginal tears, short fold breaks to folding Mauritiopolis plate, scattered spotting, some discoloration and offsetting. FIRST EDITION, engraved frontispiece, woodcut printer's device on title, engraved portrait of Prince Maurits van Nassau-Siegen by Th. Mattham, 54 full-sheet and 2 double-sheet folding engraved maps (25) and views (31), 48 after Frans Jansz Post, woodcut diagram of a solar eclipse on Ddd1r, woodcut initials and tailpiece. Alden & Landis 647/8; Borba de Moraes 78-79; Rodrigues 344; Sabin 3408.
Caspar van Baerle (1584-1648), one of the great humanists of seventeenth-century Holland, was commissioned to write what became the most important work on the Dutch colonization of Brazil by Prince Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, Governor-General of Brazil from 1637-44, who also provided much of the documentation. "Nassau did not stint on the printing of his panegyric, and one of the most beautiful books on Brazil of this period was produced as a result" (Borba de Moraes). All but eight of the plates are the work of Frans Jansz van Post, who accompanied Nassau to Brazil.
Provenance: The New-York Historical Society (sale, Sotheby's New York, 29 January 1995, lot 28).