Catalog Archive
Auction 126, Lot 2

"Livre Quatriesme des Principales Villes du Monde", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1590 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

9 x 13.5 inches
22.9 x 34.3 cm
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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.

Fine title page from volume four of a French edition of this monumental work on the great cities of the world. The title is engraved onto an architectural monument around which seven female figures from Roman mythology are gathered. Each of the figures is named: Constantia (Steadfast), Honor (Honor and Valor), Dignitas (Virtue), Pax (Peace), Iustitia (Justice), Diligenti (Diligence), and Sapientia (Wisdom). Latin text on verso.


Condition: A

There is a bit of minor foxing at paper edges, well away from the image.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $275

Closed on 12/3/2008