Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 575

"Visbia Gothorum", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Sweden

Period: 1598 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, part V

Color: Black & White

19.5 x 14.3 inches
49.5 x 36.3 cm

Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum or "Cities of the World" was published between 1572 and 1617. Within the six volumes, 531 towns and cities were depicted on 363 plates, providing the reader with the pleasures of travel without the attendant discomforts. Braun wrote in the preface to the third book, "What could be more pleasant than, in one's own home far from all danger, to gaze in these books at the universal form of the earth . . . adorned with the splendor of cities and fortresses and, by looking at pictures and reading the texts accompanying them, to acquire knowledge which could scarcely be had but by long and difficult journeys?" Braun and Hogenberg incorporated an astonishing wealth of information into each scene beyond the city layout and important buildings. The plates provide an impression of the economy and prominent occupations, and illustrate local costumes, manners and customs.

This is a wonderful bird's-eye plan/view of the oldest city in Sweden. Visby, the largest city on the island of Gotland was an important Viking city and the main center of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic from the 12th to the 14th century. The characteristic ringwall (Ringmuren) and protected harbor are well depicted. A key at bottom provides the locations of the major buildings. Latin text on verso.


Condition: B

Faint toning along centerfold, else very good. Short tear in blank side margin. Remnants of framer's hinges on verso.

Estimate: $475 - $550

Sold for: $350

Closed on 3/6/2007