Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

This is one of the rarer of Abraham Ortelius’ various maps of the British Isles. The most unusual feature of it is the size, it is in fact a two-sheet map which makes for a dramatic map. It displays the ancient tribes of the Islands and names from the Roman occupation. It was produced to accompany the ‘Parergon’ Ortelius’ historical atlas published alongside the ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’. The modern outline of the British Islands is largely drawn from that of Gerard Mercator’s great wall map of 1564 and improved by that of Christopher Saxton in 1579. The map is finished with four ornate cartouche, many large ships at sea and a fierce sea battle upper left. The engraving is believed to be the work of Jan Wierix. The map appeared in just three editions of the atlas in 1590, 1591 and 1592. From 1595 it was replaced with a single sheet reduction. Van den Broecke therefore estimates that just 400 examples were printed. An uncommon map. Provenance: private collection of Rodney Shirley. Shirley, R.W. (BI to 1650) 160; Van den Broecke, M. 190.

Britannicarum Insularum Vetus Descriptio

Antwerp, 1590
730 x 490 mm., recent wash colour, printed on two sheets, joined, top half centrefold split repaired, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 7672


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