BARLAEUS, CASPAR. Rerum per Octennium in Brasilia et alibi nuper gestarum, sub Praefectura Illustrissimi Comitis I. Mauritii Nassoviae, &c. Comitis, nunc Vesaliae Gubernatoris & Equitatus Foederatorum Belgii Ordd. sub. Auriaco Ductoris, Historia. Amsterdam: Joan Blaeu, 1647.
Large folio, 443 x 280 mm., contemporary Dutch mottled calf, covers with double gilt fillet, spine gilt in eight compartments with raised bands, head of spine and joints neatly reparied, 3 plates with foremargins shaved, 4 others with neat repairs and slight restoration, small hole and crack in plate 6, occasional minor dampstaining.
FIRST EDITION. COLORED THROUGHOUT BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND. Engraved frontispiece, title with publisher's device, engraved portrait of Prince Maurice of Nassau by Th. Matham and 56 engraved maps and views, all double-page and mounted on guards, including large folding views of Recife and S. Paolo de Loanda, all hand-colored, the frontispiece and portrait HEIGHTENED IN GOLD, engraved by Jan van Brosterhuisen and Salmon Savery, 48 of the plates after FRANS JANSZ POST.
VERY RARE COMPLETE COLORED COPY. Only a very small number are known to have been colored at the time of publication and according to Clement (Bibliotheca Curiosa II.430) most copies of the book were burnt in the fire that destroyed Blaeu's workshop. Caspar van Baerle (1584-1648), more familiarly known by his Latin name Barlaeus, one of the great humanists of seventeenth-century Holland, was commissioned to write what has become the classic work on the government of Maurice of Nassau in Pernambuco by the Prince himself, who also provided much of the documentation. Besides its "inestimable documentary value" (Borba de Moraes) it is one of the most sumptuous and beautiful books on Brazil of the period. All but eight of the plates are signed by the celebrated artist Franz Jansz Post, who accompanied Nassau to Brazil. The engraving is the work of two other artists: Jan van Brosterhuisen, who executed the landscapes, and Salomon Savery who depicted the naval battles. THE COLORING IN THIS COPY IS SUPERB, with the fine portrait and frontispiece richly illuminated in gold. The plates comprise 31 views and 25 maps, including a map of Chile, and a Chilean vocabulary found on pp. 283-289.
Borba de Moraes I. 65-66; Sabin 3408 (noting 54 maps and plates only); JCB II, pt. 2. 350).
Provenance: "Robert" van den Derylie, inscription, upper free endpaper, verso -- Bodaert, inscription, lower free endpaper -- Martinus Nijhoff, the Hague, nineteenth-century bookseller's ticket -- Samuel Latham Mitchill Barlow (1826-1889), New York collector, bookplate -- American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, sold in 1969, to -- Richard S. and Carola Paine Wormser, Bethel, Connecticut (sale, Christie's, 31 March 1971, lot 151, to Pickering & Chatto for) -- Lord Strathallan, engraved armorial bookplate (sale, Christie's New York, 8 June 1990, lot 205).