Leen Helmink Antique Maps

Russia by Ortelius




Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae descriptio


Antwerp, 1570


35.4 x 44.2 cms


Copper engraving

Stock number





$ 1900


Antony Jenkins' spectacular map of Russia, issued by Ortelius.

"A map of 'Russia, Muscovy, and Tartary' by Anthony Jenkinson of the English Muscovy Company was engraved by Frans Hogenberg for Ortelius' 'Theatrum' in 1570 - with vignettes based on Marco Polo. Originally 'published in London in 1562', it stems from Jenkinson's journey to Bukhara in 1557-59. He went to Russia three more times, but into Asia (as far as Persia) only once more."

(Tooley & Bricker).

"Interesting folklore on eating, religion, and 'burial' of the dead in trees in texts and pictures."

(van den Broecke).

"This is the earliest surviving work based on the lost map of Anthony Jenkinson. An agent of the Company of Merchant Adventurers (Muscovy company), Jenkinson traveled in Russia from 1557 to 1560. He took regular notes during his travels; thus, much of this map is based on first hand observation. Jenkinson traveled from Archangel to Moscow (where he met Czar Ivan the Terrible) then via the Volga and Caspian Sea to Bukhara in present-day Uzbekistan, one of the cities on the ancient Oriental Silk Route. Jenkinson is believed to be the first European to cross Russia from north to south and the first Englishman to penetrate so far into Central Asia beyond the Caucasus in this period. On his return to England in 1560 he compiled detailed accounts of his expedition and also prepared a large-scale map on 4 sheets which was first published by Nicholas Reynolds in London in 1562. JenkinsonÔÇÖs original map was believed lost until a now seemingly unique copy came into the hands of the Library of the Polish University of Wroclaw in 1988. OrteliusÔÇÖ map replicates much of the detail and decoration found on the original Jenkinson map, with vignettes of camels, caravaneseri, the curious custom of burying the dead in the branches of trees, as well as amusing annotations on Russian and Central Asian folklore, religion, and eating habits. A vignette of Ivan the Terrible appears top left."

(James Hess).

"Title: RVSSIAE, MOSCO:/VIAE ET TARTA:/RIAE DESCRIP:/TIO Auctore/Antonio Ienkensono Anglo, edita/Londini Anno 1562 & dedicata/illustriss. D. Henrico Sijdneo/Walliei presidi. Cum priuilegio.

<= Image of Russia, Moscovia and Tartaria by Antonius Jenkins the Englishman, published in London in 1562, and dedicated to the most illustrious Lord Henricus Sidneus, leader of the Wallei. With privilege>

<Three blocks of texts in cartouches; five blocks of texts without cartouches, all at the right side of the plate.>

<Cartouche top left:>
Zlata Baba, id est aurea vetula ab Obdorianis, & lougorianis religiose colitur. Idolum hoc sacerdos consultit, quid ipsis faciendum, quoue sit migrandum,imsumq. (dictu mirum) certa consulentib. dat responsa,certique euentus consequuntur
<= Zlata Baba, that is golden granny, is devotedly worshipped by the Odorians and Iougorians. The priest consults this Idol about what to do and where to go and (it is a wonder to relate) she gives clear answers to those consulting her, leading to certain outcomes>.

<Cartouche top right:>
Horum regionum incole Solem,vel rubrum pannum pertica suspensum adorant. In castris vitam ducunt; ac oim animatium, serpentiu, vermiunque carne vescentur.ac proprio idiomate vtuntur
<= The inhabitants of this region adore the Sun or a red cloth hanging from a pole. They live their lives in fortresses and eat the meat of animals, snakes and worms, and they have their own language>.

<Cartouche mid-below the two previous ones:>
Hec saxa hoim iumentorum camelorum pecorumque,ceterarumq. reru formas referentia,Horda populi gregis pascentis,armentaq. fuit; Que stupenda quadam metamorphosi,repente in saxa riguit,priori forma nulla in parte diminuta. Euenit hoc prodigium annis circiter 300. retro elapsis
<= This rock which has the shapes of people, cattle, camels and other animals and things was once a group of shepherds and their flocks who suddenly petrified in an amazing metamorphosis, without changing their previous appearance. This miracle took place 300 years ago>.

<Text block close to centerfold:>
A mangusla Shayfuram usq. 20 dierum iter habent,sine ullis sedibus,cum summa aque penuria. A Shayura usq. Bogar,var itineris interuallum latrocinijs infestum
<= from Manguslato Shaijsure is a journey of 20 days without encampments and with an exceeding shortage of water. From Shaijsure to Bogar is a similar distance, infested by robbers>.

<Text block near bottom centerfold:>
Corasan parva, a Rege Persico adiuvantibus Tartaris 1558 expugnata fuit
<= The small city of Corasan has been captured by the King of Persia with the assistance of the Tartars in 1558>.

<Text block middle right edge of page:>
Kirgessi gens cateruatim degit, id est in hordis.habetq. ritum huiusmodi.cum re divinam ipsoru sacerdos peragit,sanguinem,lac & fimu iumentorum accipit,ac terre miscet, inq. vas quoddam infundit,eoq. arborem scandit,atq. concione habita,in populum spargit,atq. hec aspersio pro Deo habetur & colitur. Cum quis diem inter illos obit,loco sepulture arboribus suspendit
<= The Kirgessen people live in troups or hordes. They have the following custom: when a priest performs a religious ceremony, he obtains blood, milk and dung of beasts of burden, and mixes it with earth. He pours this in a specific vessel and climbs a tree with it, and when there is a gathering, he spinkles it over the people, and this sprinkling is considered to be divine, and is worshipped. When someone of them dies, that person is hung up in a tree by way of burial>.

<Text block below the prevous one, lower right:>
Shamarcandia olim totius Tartarie metropolis fuit,at nunc ruinis deformis iacet,una cum multis antiquitatis vestigijs. Hic conditus est Tamerlanes ille, qui olim Turcaru Imperatore Byasite captum aureis catenis vinctum,circumtulit. Incole mahumetani sunt
<=Shamarcandia was once the capital of all of Tartary, but now it has decayed to ruins, with many remnants from antiquity. Here Tamerlan lies buried, once the captor of the ruler of the Turks, Bayasid. He took him as a prisoner and abducted him, bound in gold chains. The inhabitants are Muslims>.

<Text block extreme lower right corner:>
Cascara,hinc triginta dierum itinere orientem versus incipiunt termini imperij Cathaye Ab his limitibus ad Cambalu trium mensium interiacet.
<= Cascara. When travelling from here for thirty days, one reaches the borders of the Empire of Cathay <= China>. The distance between these borders and Cambala is a journey of three months>. "

(Van den Broecke).