Abraham Ortelius | Theatrum orbis terrarum, 1595
Theatrum orbis terrarum. Antwerp: Plantin, 1595
3 parts in one volume, folio (452 x 305mm.), engraved title, two sectional titles, engraved portrait, 147 double-page engraved maps, all finely coloured by a contemporary hand, bound to style by James and Stuart Brockman in morocco-backed oak boards, previous extensive waterstains to foot of text block expertly restored with very occasional slight loss
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, 115 double-page mapsheets; Parergon, printed title within woodblock architectural border, 32 mapsheets; Nomenclator Ptolemaicus, printed title and woodcut device, dated 1595.
Koeman Ort 29
Previous extensive waterstains to foot of text block expertly restored with very occasional slight loss
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