Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 678

"S. Polid vulgo Sanpolten. Inferioris Austriae Civitas", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Austria

Period: 1580 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

18.7 x 11.7 inches
47.5 x 29.7 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 finely engraved view of the medieval city of Sankt Pölten, now the capital of Niederösterreich in the heartland of Austria. This view, by Georg Hoefnagel, illustrates the rich agricultural region with orderly fields laid out in front of the city. Hoefnagel is shown in the foreground sitting on a log, preparing his sketch, with a small group of soldiers resting nearby. A grisly gallows flanks the road into the city at right. Latin text on verso.


Condition: B

Good impression and original color. Old repair and small hole in border at bottom centerfold, else very good. Margins slightly trimmed but still ample. Remnants of linen hinges on verso with some edge tears at top.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $400

Closed on 3/6/2007