656. [Atlas - World]

ORTELIUS, Abraham

[Théâtre de l'univers] Theatrum orbis terrarum.

Antwerp, Plantin Press, 1598

Folio: 12 (of 12) pp. incl. engr. title and portrait - 119 (of 119) maps mounted on hinges, contemp. hand-coloured (French b/w engr. title replaced by a Latin variant, engr. portrait bound recto-verso, a small historical map of Flanders is pasted on 4v (not present in other copies), title and preliminary lvs browned and repaired, all maps in very good condition, with usual oxidation and occ. some offsetting, a few have centerfold splits in particular the maps of Hollandia, Hispania, Cadiz, Pays de Berry, Namur, Bavaria and also the map of Flanders that is broken with sm. loss along the centerfold, ms. notes on the map of Valence, sm. scratch on the map of Gueldres, white stain on the map of Brabant, map of Flanders, Zeeland and Holland: browned with add. marg. paper gap on the map of Flanders, map of Tirol: underlaid, map of Como: small repaired marg. tear, map of Abyssinia: large marg. corner repaired, minor defects and some foxing).

Contemp. Dutch binding: white ivory vellum over pasteboards with double ornamental gilt frame and gilt centerpiece, flat spine (broken spine, new fly-leaves in front of the vol.).

Lavishly coloured last French edition of the "Theatrum Orbis Theatrum" (1st Fr. ed.: 1572, 53 maps; 2nd ed.: 1574, 69 maps; 3rd ed.: 1581, 93 maps; 4th ed.: 1587: 112 maps) published by Plantin in the year the Brabant cartographer and creator of this first modern atlas Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) passed away. Our copy includes a Latin (!) engraved allegorical title with female personifications of the 5 continents, Ortelius' portrait in a large engraved medaillon with Renaissance borders, and 119 maps with French text on verso, comprising the world map in its 1st state (Ref. vdB Ort 3), 4 continental maps and maps, not only of European regions and countries, but also maps of China, India, Japan, the Pacific, Persia, and of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. This is the only French edition with additional short appendices on trade routes and local products, entitled "Voyes, chemins et adresses par ou et quelle panire les pierreries, especieries et autres choses estranges des Asiens et Indiens souloyent venir en nos pays [...]" and "Noms d'aucunes marchandises estranges, et des places d'ou ellesnous sont icy amenees"; apparently, these were considered to be more useful for the vernacular edition than any scientific discourse. A landmark in the history of cartography outlining the standards for all later atlases with text and maps in a uniform format and presentation!
Ref. van der Krogt IIIA [31:351]. - Imhof O-61.
Prov. L. Verkest (ms. note).

€ 50.000 / 60.000

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