Auction 126, Lot 538

"Sevilla", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Seville, Spain

Period: 1657 (published)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19 x 14 inches
48.3 x 35.6 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.

Dominating the center of this fine city plan is the Santa Maria de la Sede, one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Also visible are the Roman aqueduct from Cremona and city walls with twelve gates and 166 towers. In the foreground, numerous sailing vessels at the quay show the importance of mercantile activity to the city. Seville prospered from shipping to the New World, which was organized in 1537 in the form of the annual treasure fleets sailing between Cadiz, Seville and the Americas. A 40-point legend is at bottom, with three coats of arms at top. This is the Jansson issue without text on verso.

References: Goss (Cities) #50.

Condition: B+

Lightly toned on centerfold, else very good with very wide original margins.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $1,300

Closed on 12/3/2008