Auction 129, Lot 563

"Toletum", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Toledo, Spain

Period: 1598 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.7 x 14.7 inches
50 x 37.3 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 bird's-eye view of Toledo was drawn by Georg Hoefnagel in 1566. The city is viewed from across the Tagus River with one of the Moorish bridges visible at right. The city was built around the cathedral with the Gothic church of San Juan de los Reyes and the Alcazar (Moorish fortress) perched on the hillsides. The view is enclosed in an elaborate framework with elevations of the cathedral and the Alcazar, called Palatium Regium Toletanum, at bottom. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel pp. 367-39; Goss (Cities) #54.

Condition: A+

Superb condition and color.

Estimate: $950 - $1,300

Sold for: $1,100

Closed on 9/23/2009