Auction 119, Lot 920

"[Lot of 3] Civitates Orbis Terrarum - The Towns of the World 1572-1618 Volume I, II and III", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Facsimile Atlases

Period: 1966 (published)


Color: Black & White

12 x 17.5 inches
30.5 x 44.5 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 terrific facsimile reprint of one of the most prestigious atlases of the sixteenth century. It was originally created to document the cities and cultures of the world and also to serve as a compliment Abraham Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. There are six parts bound into three volumes, and all have an abundance of maps and corresponding text. It was reproduced from the Latin edition set in the University Library at Amsterdam. Volume I has 6 views of Cologne, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Venice, and London in full and vibrant printed color; loose as issued. This volume has the preface by R. V. Tooley, an introduction by R.A. Skelton, and 2 appendices showing the printing history of the original and a list of maps. Foldout views of Antwerp and Krakow are featured in Volume III. Braun & Hogenberg’s town views are generally considered to be among the most valuable sources for the study of Renaissance urban topography. These volumes weigh 30 pounds. Please call for a shipping quote for overseas shipments prior to bidding.


Condition: A

Near new condition with some slight wear to the dustjackets, and a couple of finger smudges on several pages. Fold out map of Antwerp has an intersectional fold seperation. A 2" tear in the lower margin of the foldout map of Krakow does not affect the image. Otherwise the views and text are clean and crisp.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500

Sold for: $750

Closed on 5/9/2007