This is a scarce and often underappreciated c. 1690 Petrus Schenk and Gerard Valk map of Mexico or New Spain. Depicting the viceroyalty granted to Hernan Cortez following his conquest of the Aztec Empire, this map details, roughly, from Mexico City westward to the Pacific coast and northward as far as modern day Michoacán. Cartographically, Schenk and Valk's map is based on one by Mercator and Hondius, which was heavily influenced by Ortelius' 1579 map of the same region. Though we are uncertain of Ortelius' sources, this map exhibits a combination of known and speculative cartographic elements. Mexico City appears at right center surrounded by water as it appeared at the time of the conquest. By the time Mercator created the map that inspired this one, much of the region between Mexico City and the Pacific ports along the coast, as well as the mining regions to the north and west, had been roughly mapped by the conquistadores. Lake Chapala (Chapalicum Mare), for example, is accurately situated and formed. However, as the map extends further north into only tenuously explored regions, the cartography becomes more speculative. The large inland sea in the northwestern quadrant with is four numbered and named islands is clearly drawn from indigenous legends, most likely as transmitted via the Codex Mendoza. An elaborate baroque title cartouche is situated in the upper right quadrant, while a key is included in the lower right corner.
This map was published c. 1690 by Petrus Schenk and Gerard Hondius.
Petrus Schenk (Pieter Schenck) the Elder (December 26, 1660 - 1711) was a Dutch engraver, globe maker, and map publisher active in Amsterdam and Leipzig in the latter half of the 17th century. Schenk, was born in Elberfield, Germany. He moved in Amsterdam in 1675, becoming the apprentice to Gerard Valk (Valck). In 1687, Schenk married Agatha Valk, Gerard Valk's sister and went into partnership with his brother-in-law under the imprint of 'Valk and Schenk'. Initially they focused on maps and atlases, acquiring the map plates of Jan Jansson and Jodocus Hondius in 1694. Later, in 1701 they moved into the former Hondius offices where they began producing globes. Valk and Schenk quickly became known for producing the best globes in the Netherlands, a business on which they held a near monopoly for nearly 50 years. Schenk's three sons, Pieter Schenk the Younger, Jan Schenk, and Leonard Schenk, all became engravers in their own right. Pieter Schenk the Younger inherited the business and ran his father's shop in Leipzig. His daughter, Maria Schenk, married Leonard Valk, the son of Gerard Valk, and continued to run the Valk and Schenk map engraving workshop in Amsterdam. Learn More...
Gerard Valk (September 30, 1652 - October 21, 1726) (aka. Valck, Walck, Valcke), was a Dutch engraver, globe maker, and map publisher active in Amsterdam in the latter half of the 17th century and early 18th century. Valk was born in Amsterdam where his father, Leendert Gerritsz, was a silversmith. He studied mathematics, navigation, and cartography under Pieter Maasz Smit. Valk and moved to London in 1673, where he studied engraving under Abraham Blooteling (or Bloteling) (1634 - 1690), whose sister he married, and later worked for the map sellers Christopher Browne and David Loggan. Valke and Blooteling returned to Amsterdam in 1680 and applied for a 15-year privilege, a kind of early copyright, from the States General, which was granted in 1684. In 1687, he established his own firm in Amsterdam in partnership with Petrus (Pieter) Schenk, who had just married his sister, Agata. They published under the imprint of Valk and Schenk. Also, curiously in the same year Valk acquired the home of Jochem Bormeester, also engraver and son-in-law of art dealer Clement De Jonghe. Initially Valk and Schenk focused on maps and atlases, acquiring the map plates of Jodocus Hondius and Jan Jansson in 1694. Later, in 1701 they moved into the former Hendrick Hondius (the younger) offices where they began producing globes. Valk and Schenk soon acquired the reputation of producing the finest globes in the Netherlands, a business on which they held a near monopoly for nearly 50 years. In 1702, Valk joined the Bookseller's Guild of which he was promptly elected head. Around the same time, Gerard introduced his son, Leonard, who was married to Maria Schenk, to the business. Leonard spearheaded the acquisition of the map plates of Frederick de Wit in 1709. Nonetheless, Leonard was nowhere near as sophisticated a cartographer or businessman as his father and ultimately, through neglect, lost much the firm's prestige. After his death, the firm was taken over by his widow Maria. Learn More...
Very good. Even overall toning. Light wear along original centerfold. Light transference. Some creasing. Blank on verso.