Maps, World, Ortelius, First Edition
Ortelius World Maps
Set of 5 Maps
The world, America, Asia, Africa, Europe
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Set of 5 maps. Copper etchings from the Atlas "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" by Abraham Ortelius. Antwerp, 1570. Verso text: Latin.
Excellent hand coloring in the typical Renaissance style.
This homogenous set derives from an atlas printed in the year 1570. The atlas, of which this set was a part, was the FIRST EDITION of the famous first atlas ever printed.
The first edition of the Ortelius atlas had very narrow margins. In order to give the maps ample margins,
the margins have been expertly and professionally widened.
"Typus Orbis Terrarum" Shirley 122; van den Broecke 1; Koeman/Meurer 1
World map: 33.2 x 49.8 cm (13.1 x 19.6").has left and right margin extended. Lower centerfold has been enforced.Otherwise very good condition
"Africae Tabula Nova" van den Broecke 8; Koeman/Meuer 4
Africa: 37.5 x 50.7 cm 14.8 x 20"). All four margins have been extended. Otherwise very good condition
"Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio" van den Broecke 9; Koeman/Meurer 2
America: 36.7 x 50.8 cm (14.4 x 20") has left, right and lower margins extended. Otherwise very good condition,
"Europae" van den Broecke 4; Koeman/Meurer 5
Europe: 33.2 x 46.1 cm (13.1 x 18.1")Needed no extension. Lower centerfold has been united. Right margin has small ink marks. Otherwise very good condition.
"Asiae Nova Descriptio" van den Broecke 6; Koeman/Meurer 3
Asia: 37 x 49.5 cm (14.6 x 19.5"). All four margins have been extended. Otherwise very good condition
Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) may truly be assigned the title of "Father of Modern Cartography". He developed the idea of assembling a compendium of maps to form an atlas. Ortelius did so with extraordinary skill and success. Imagine the man was a resident of Antwerp, Belgium. Unlike us in our modern time, he had no FAX or telephone, no train, car, or plane. All he had were messengers on horseback to transport information and details of commercial contracts from one place in Europe to another.
In 1570 the first edition of his atlas, "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" was published. And it was a great success. It was the time of exploring the world and showing the findings in charts. Ortelius' atlas combined, for the first time, descriptive text with maps. His atlas went through five major editions with revisions and additions between 1570 (53 maps) and 1603 (posthumouly published under the original name with 119 maps). It was produced in Latin, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and English.
Most of the "Theatrum-atlases" have been lost, are in safe hands or have, over the centuries been dissolved for map-collecting purposes. In recent years Ortelius maps have increasinly become scarcer . Their charm no doubt, lies in the lack of accurate measurement, in the adornment with ships, mermaids, monsters and in stunningly beautiful Renaissance cartouches. To many a map collector, Theatrum maps are among the most desirable species to look for.
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