Lot 47
  • 47


70,000 - 90,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Theatrum orbis terrarum. Antwerp: Plantin, [1592]
3 parts in one volume, folio (425 x 282mm.), engraved title, portrait, and 134 double-page maps, all in contemporary hand-colour, late eighteenth-century calf gilt, new endpapers, housed in custom made folding box, a few repairs to verso, minor scattered staining, expertly rebacked retaining original spine, slightly rubbed


Moritz Brandis, Estonian chronicler, motto "Als Gott Wil" and signature on title dated 1598; A. Adlersparre, signature on title dated 1878, minor ink annotations throughout, likely Axel Adlersparre (1812-1879), Swedish politician and commander


Koeman III, Ort 27B

Catalogue Note

A FINELY COLOURED COPY, by one of the most influential cartographers of the 16th century.  The Theatrum is widely recognised as the first modern atlas, which came to shape the future of cartography. "Shape and contents set the standards for later atlases, when the centre of the map-trade moved from Antwerp to Amsterdam. The characteristic feature of the Theatrum is, that it consists of two elements, forming part of a unitary whole: text and maps. This concept for a 'Theatre of the world' was followed through the 17th century. Before Ortelius no one had done this" (Koeman). The appended Catalogus Auctorum is a unique source of names of contemporary cartographers, some of whom would otherwise have remained obscure.

The three parts comprise: Theatrum, engraved title within architectural border, engraved portrait of Ortelius, Catalogus Auctorum with 153 names, 108 double-page mapsheets; Parergon, printed title within woodblock architectural border, 26 mapsheets; Nomenclator Ptolemaicus, printed title and woodcut device, dated 1591.