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

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
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THE ONLY EDITION WITH THE SIX LARGER PLATES UNFOLDED. The first modern atlas by Abraham Ortelius entitled ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ was published in Antwerp, 1570, and enjoyed enormous success. It was republished 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. Both Ortelius and Heyns fled the religious troubles threatening Antwerp in the 1570s and whilst Ortelius went to London in November 1576, Heyns returned to Antwerp in 1577 in a destitute way. Galle, along with the publisher Christopher Plantin, decided to publish the reduced Ortelius atlas to support Heyns financially. Heyns provided the Dutch text in verse. This is evoked in the first edition which was entitled ‘Spieghel der Werelt’ where it also alludes to the fact that Ortelius was unaware of the atlas, but they were sure that he would approve. Koeman theorises that the engravings must have been ready earlier as Ortelius must have had some input, it being almost impossible for Galle to reduce the 70 folio maps in less than a year without the help of Ortelius. There is strong evidence that 1574 would have marked the beginning of the project as of the six larger format maps in the atlas one, the world map, is dated 1574. It might be argued that these formed the size of the intended work and that the religious and financial troubles encouraged a resulting reduced sized format.

The six larger plates which are engraved to a higher standard are of the world, Europe, France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Italy. Shirley describes the world as a ‘neatly engraved reduction of Ortelius’s first world map.’ They were replaced in 1588 by smaller maps similar in size to the rest of the atlas. Any of the five editions with the larger plates present is highly sought after and of those only this edition contains these larger maps unfolded. Above each of the smaller maps in the atlas is a typographic title with a number which relates to the equivalent map in the folio ‘Theatrum’.

The first edition was an immediate success and was followed in 1579 by a French edition of this pocket-size atlas which is more widely referred to as the ‘Epitome’. They are the only two issues before the atlas was expanded with 11 further maps for further editions in Dutch and French in 1583. This is the first Latin edition and the text, also in verse, was translated by Hugo Favoli (1523-85) from Middelburg, and chief surgeon of Antwerp.

This example is bound with a work derived from the ‘Relationi Universali’ by Giovanni Botero (1540-1617), a priest and geographer. First published without maps in Rome, 1591, it was an edition in Venice, 1596, that first included any maps. In that same year the work was taken up by the Cologne school and issued under various titles. The ‘Amphitheatridion’ as with others, was published by Lambert Andreas (fl. 1590-98). The first two parts describe the Spanish and Turkish Empires, arguably the two most dominant at the time. The ensuing sections describe another twenty kingdoms. It contains a 5 double page maps including a world, Turkish Empire, Europe, Asia and Africa. The world map is attributed to Andreas by Shirley, largely based on a lack of viable alternative evidence. This was issued in the middle of the Austrian and Ottoman Empire wars. Most of the works in the Cologne school are scarce, indeed this one is not cited by Shirley at all. Alden (1980-97) 585/30 & 597/5; Burden (1996) 48; Koeman (1967-70) Ort 51; Van der Krogt (1997-2003) 331:21; Meurer (1988) Bot 3; Nordenskiold (1979) no. 169; Phillips (1909-) 391; Shirley (1984) 132 & 190; Shirley (2004) T.Ort 2d; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).


Theatri Orbis Terrarum Enchiridion, Minoribus Tabulis per Philippum Gallaeum [bound with] Amphitheatridion

Philippe Galle, Antwerp, 1585-[97]
Quarto (205 x 150 mm.), two works bound as one, full contemporary vellum, manuscript title to spine. Typographic titlepage with woodcut printer’s device, pp. (8), 170, (2), with 1 allegorical engraving and 83 (6 double-page) copperplate maps, [blank]. Typographic titlepage, pp. (44), 147, with 5 (2 double-sided, folded with text on the back in the page and 3 folded) copperplate maps, slight loss of text to p. 115, otherwise in very good condition.
Stock number: 10920
£ 15,000
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