Fine Books and Manuscripts

Fine Books and Manuscripts

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. Ortelius, Abraham | One of the most influential atlases ever published.

Ortelius, Abraham | One of the most influential atlases ever published

Lot Closed

July 16, 05:13 PM GMT


70,000 - 100,000 USD

Lot Details


Ortelius, Abraham

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum... Antwerp: Printed for the Author, 1598

Folio (416 x 290 mm). Engraved allegorical title, engraved portrait, and 91 numbered map sheets on tabs (includes "Abrahami Patriarchae..." as map number 87, and "Daphne" as map number 91), all with contemporary hand-coloring, Dutch text; a few minor ink stains to preliminary text leaves, minor marginal finger-soiling, minor spotting generally not affecting maps, a few closed marginal tears, map 15 ("Regni Hispaniae") with two small expert tissue repairs, map 25 ("Germania") with two closed primarily marginal tears, map 73 ("Russiae") backed with tissue, and map 91 ("Daphne") with repaired marginal tear. Full contemporary velum with yapp edges, covers paneled in gilt, with central gilt lozenges, edges stained red; rebacked, wear to extremities, soiling. 

A finely-colored copy of the first modern atlas

Abraham Ortelius is regarded as one of the most influential cartographers of the 16th century. The Theatrum is widely recognized 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). 

One of the most important atlases ever published 


Koeman Ort 31