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Lot 260 - A206 Books & Autographs - Wednesday, 20. September 2023, 02.00 PM


Ortelius, Abraham.
Theatrum orbis terrarum. 3 parts in 1 volume. With 2 engraved titles, 1 title vignette, 1 portrait, 7 (of which 5 are double-page) copper plates, and 161 double-page copperplate maps, 5 text engravings, all hand-colored, as well as 169 (of which 168 are colored) initials, and some colored text vignettes.
Antwerpen, Plantin, 1612. Large folio (48 × 30.5 cm). [26], 128, [4], XL, [1] leaves, 30 pages, [3] leaves. Contemporary vellum binding with handwritten title on the spine, ornamental blind tooling on the spine and covers, blind-stamped double border frame and corner fleurons (ribbon ties removed, lower front joint expertly repaired, somewhat spotted, browned, lightly rubbed and bumped)

Phillips/Le Gear 5923 - Koeman 3, Ort 41 - van der Krogt, 31:055 - vgl. Sabin 57693 (Edition of 1519). - "This is the last of the Latin editions of the Theatrum and the most complete, too. It contains elaborate preliminary matter and an introduction to cosmography by Michel Coignet, the Parergon and the Nomenclator. This edition was printed and published by the successor of Plantin in the famous printing house" (Koeman). - Complete copy with 128 maps in the Theatrum and the 33 maps of the Parergon. - The use of printed atlases was a common practice for travelers over centuries. An atlas opened up the world and the routes between countries and continents. But what exactly is an atlas? This question can be answered simply: it is the clever combination of maps and explanatory texts, invented by Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598) in the last third of the 16th century. He had the idea to have sea and land maps engraved in a uniform format and publish them in a single volume. The work, first published in 1570, made the knowledge of the best geographers of his time available to a wider audience. The discovery of America by Columbus and the first circumnavigation of the world by Magellan were not too long ago. Even educated people were hardly familiar with these regions, as well as many European countries. Ortelius succeeded in presenting the world on the horizon of his contemporaries as if on a stage: as scientifically accurate as possible, he also presented the globe in an artistically appealing way, adorned with mythological representations and images of nautical instruments or ships. After the great success of the first edition, the enterprise was further expanded in the following decades, with new maps added continuously. While the first edition had 53 maps, the 1595 edition already included 147 maps. The present edition is based on the 1609 edition, from which it is an exact reprint except for the title page. It is referred to as 'the most complete' because Plantin revised five plates and supplemented the entire preliminary material. Our copy includes the Parergon (appendix), with real and fictional maps of antiquity (Aeneas' route in Vergil's Aeneid), and the Nomenclator ptolemaicus (Ptolemaic Index), a kind of directory of place names in Ptolemy's Geography. - On the reverse of the main title, the full-page coat of arms of Philip III of Spain. - Evenly browned, only occasionally faintly spotted (mainly in the white margins), some weak creasing in the corners due to bumping, minimal worming to the gutter from plate 31 (some with slight loss of image), XXXIII with small wormholes in the white margin (outside of the image), endpapers also somewhat wormed, title page minimally affected in the white margin (without loss of text or image). Front inner joint cracked, gathering A6 reinforced and newly hinged. - Overall, a very good copy of this work, which is extremely rare in this completeness and state of preservation, in its original contemporary binding. - Early modern handwritten signature on the front endpaper and flyleaf. Erased handwritten ownership note on the title page. - Provenance: Swiss private collection.

CHF 250 000 / 350 000 | (€ 257 730 / 360 820)