Lot 70
  • 70

Braun, Georg (1541-1622) and Franz Hogenberg (c.1538-1590).

bidding is closed


  • Braun, Georg (1541-1622) and Franz Hogenberg (c.1538-1590).
Civitates orbis terrarum. Cologne: P. von Brachel, 1612-1618


Arms of Avogadro, of Como, Italy, ink-stamps on title-pages; Biblioteca civica [now Federico Ragni] in Piovera (Piedmont, near Alessandria), library label on front-free endpaper; general appraisal of the work by Libreria Hoepli, Milan, dated 17 March 1948, pasted on front free endpaper, and addressed to Dr Giancarlo Doria, Genoa (“Braun’s work can be worth from 50,000 to 75,000 lire depending on condition and colouring of the plates [etc.]); Nico Israel, Amsterdam, 30 January 1973, £15,000


Koeman II, B&H 1-6; Phillips, Atlases 59; Shirley, British Library T.BRA-1b

Catalogue Note

a magnificent copy, finely coloured and bound, of the first systematic city atlas and “one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century” (Koeman, II, p.10). The text is by Georg Braun (1541-1622), Canon of Cologne Cathedral, and the engravings by Frans Hogenberg and Simon Novellanus, many after the drawings of Joris Hoefnagel, the remainder after Abraham Ortelius, Heinrich Rantzau, Jacob van Deventer and others. The work took over 45 years to publish and even longer in its preparation. Although not strictly an atlas, the work is so close in style and name to the atlases of Ortelius, De Jode and Mercator that it is generally considered part of this great tradition.

As Koeman notes, the popularity of the work led to a great number of editions; because of erratic dating (or an absence of dates altogether), these are sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other. The present copy carries the following sequence of dates: 1612, no date, 1616, 1617, no date, 1618.