Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 681

"Buda Citerioris Hungariae Caput Regni avita sedes, vulgo Ofen", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Hungary, Budapest

Period: 1617 (dated)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, part VI

Color: Hand Color

18.8 x 12.5 inches
47.8 x 31.8 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 splendid view of the cities of Buda and Pest (modern-day Budapest) was drawn by Georg Hoefnagel. Buda is seen across the Danube with its huge hilltop fortress and royal palace. On the opposite river bank is the strong fortification of Pest, with a unique pontoon bridge linking the cities. The engraving depicts the two towns during a period of Turkish occupation, when Buda was the seat of the local Ottoman pasha. During that period many of the churches were converted to mosques, shown here with their characteristic domes. The illustration in the foreground shows the pasha with his delije (body guard) who wears feathers pierced through the skin of his scalp. German text on verso.

References: Goss (Cities) #13.

Condition: A

Fine impression and color. Lightly toned with a few insignificant spots in blank margins. Remnants of framer's hinges on verso.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500

Sold for: $2,100

Closed on 3/6/2007