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

The Mapping of North America

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A detailed attractive map of the region of Tours on the Loire River published by Abraham Ortelius in the ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’. First published in 1598, this example is from the Spanish edition of 1602. The map was derived from that Isaac Francois (1566-1649) published in Maurice Bougereau’s ‘Theatre Francois’ in 1594. Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) developed an interest in cartography, geography, and history at an early age. He began as a ‘kaarten afzetter’ (or illuminator of maps) and would purchase single maps from booksellers and colour them for re-sale, mounted on linen suitable for wall-hanging. At twenty he was entered in the Guild of St Luke at Antwerp. Ortelius travelled extensively in Europe, and maintained regular correspondence with mapmakers, historians and scientists, acquiring information which was to form his greatest opus, the ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’. What made the atlas stand out as the first modern atlas was its uniformity. They were produced in a similar style and none of the ancient Ptolemaic maps were included. The atlas was accompanied a catalogue of the authors whose source Ortelius had drawn upon in compiling the work. Without this list many cartographers of the day would remain unknown to us today.

From its first appearance in 1570, the ‘Theatrum’ was far more comprehensive in scope than any contemporary work. In all, over forty different editions were published, with text in Latin, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, English or Italian, with the maps being frequently revised or replaced. By 1612, when the final edition was published, the atlas contained no less than 128 maps. Van den Broecke (1996) 42.

ORTELIUS, Abraham

Touraine. Turonensis Ducatus et Confinium Galliae Celticae Descriptio

Antwerp, 1598-[1602]
360 x 465 mm., in recent wash colour and good condition.
Stock number: 10971
£ 195
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