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Lot nr:1029
Book nr:27079
Author:ORTELIUS, Abraham
Title:Theatrum orbis terrarum
Publisher:aud Ioannem Bapt. Vrintium
Description:In-f (46 x 30 cm), [22] lvs, 118 bifolia ; [4] lvs, 40 bifolia ; [18] lvs. Engraved allegorical title page (contemp. hand coloured and gold-heightened, upper margin strengthened), arms of King Philip III of Spain on verso, engraved epitaph of Abraham Ortelius, portrait of Abraham Ortelius (all contemp. handcoloured). Marginal wormholes in the introduction. Marginal tear repaired in the portrait. Tear without loss in the map of Westphalia. Small rest. in the map of 'Isle de France'. Contemporary binding in full vellum, raised edges, gilt decoration on boards and spine, all edges gilt, well used, soiled
Note:The main part has 118 maps: World, 4 Continents and the Pacific, Europe (98), America (3), Asia (7) and Africa (4). All maps contemporary full hand coloured.
"Parergon sive veteris geographiae" has an engraved title, 33 maps of the Ancient World, 2 plates with costumes, 3 views ("Tempe", "Daphne" and "Escorial"). All in vivid full contemporary hand colouring.
In speaking of the maps in the Theatrum , the noted art historian, James A. Welu comments on "their richness of ornamentation, [they are] a combination of science and art that has rarely been surpassed in the history of mapmaking ... Ortelius's Theatrum is known for its numerous decorative cartouches, which undoubtedly added to the atlas's long popularity" (Art and Cartography , pp. 145-146)
After Ortelius died in 1598, J.B. Vrients, a map merchant from Antwerp bought the copper plates of 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum'. In 1600 he bought the copper plates of Cornelis de Jode 'Speculum Orbis Terrarum'. Doing so, he acquired the copper plates of the oldest atlases and created a monopoly in the atlas market. He continued publishing Ortelius' Theatrum till 1612, the year he died. Circulation was smaller then during Ortelius' lifetime. The Latin 1603 edition was printed by Robert Bruneau, who worked for as typesetter for Jan Moretus till 1602. The 1603 Latin edition was almost identical to the previous one of 1601, except three new plates in the Parergon (2 plates with costumes of dignitaries of the Holy Roman Empire and a view of the Escorial). Jan Moretus continued buying atlases from J.B. Vrients, in 1603 he bought 21 copies, between 1604 and 1608, he bought 25 more copies.
Only one copy in STCV, incomplete.
Ref. Koeman, C. Atlantes Neerlandici (2nd ed.) III A, 31:053. Printing and the Mind of Man 91. Abraham Ortelius, cartograaf en humanist (Brepols, 1998).
Provenance: Gillain De Thierry (ms. on title page)
Price:€40000 - €60000
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