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ORTELIUS, Abraham

L'Epitome du Théâtre de l'Univers d'Abraham Ortelius: Nouvellement recogneu, augmenté et restauré de messeure Géographique, par Michel Coignet, Mathemat. d'Anvers

Joannis Keerbergii, Antwerp, 1602
Oblong octavo (125 x 165 mm.), modern full calf, blind ruled compartments to spine, with cloth solander box with title to spine. With engraved title page, pp. (22), 110 maps versos with text, typographic title ‘Addition A L’Epitome …’, a further 13 maps numbered 1-13, versos with text, pp. (6) with table of maps. All maps and title in full wash colour, one or two maps with trimming to text, first and last couple of leaves with some professional gutter repair, otherwise a good example.
The first modern atlas by Abraham Ortelius entitled ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ was first published in Antwerp, 1570 and enjoyed enormous success. It was re-published no less than four times in the first year alone. A friend of Ortelius’ named Philip Galle was an engraver and is believed to have been the person who first conceived the idea of a smaller version of the atlas. Another friend Pieter Heyns had translated the folio atlas into Dutch for the 1571 edition. Galle along with the publisher Christopher Plantin decided to publish the reduced Ortelius atlas which first appeared in 1579.

In 1601 a competitive edition of the ‘Epitome’ was published by Johannes Keerbergen of Antwerp. New text was written by Michel Coignet and a new series of 123 plates was engraved by Ambrosius and Ferdinand Arsenius. ‘They are better engraved than the original maps by Galle and all have latitudes and longitudes in their borders’ (Koeman). He goes on to state of the first edition that ‘As this work already comprises an additamentum with 13 maps, it may be that an earlier edition, also dated 1601 exists’, no example has been located to date.

The collation differs from Koeman here containing an extra eight pages with dedication to Christophle D’Assonle-Ville signed by Keerbergen and dated 9 march 1602. Provenance: with unidentified manuscript owner on the second leaf bearing the quotation from Cicero. Koeman III Ort 64 p. 79; Phillips 417.
Stock number: 8972

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