Auction 130, Lot 478

"Lucenburgum Urbs eiusdem Nominis Ducatus Primaria …", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Luxembourg

Period: 1580 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

18.2 x 14.4 inches
46.2 x 36.6 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.

This engaging view of Luxembourg fully illustrates its defensive, mountainous site. Three sections make up the view. At top is a view of the Upper Town, perched on a rocky plateau above the steep sided Alzette Valley where the Old Town lies. A tower appearing near the bridge in the foreground of this view is a part of the magnificent palace and its formal gardens that is illustrated in the view at bottom. At right is the Igel Column, a funerary monument on the Roman road from Trier to Luxembourg. It was erected by the Secundinii family of cloth merchants in the middle of the third century AD.

References: Fussel p. 376.

Condition: B+

Some paper weakness has been professionally and expertly reinforced with light Japanese tissue on verso.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200

Sold for: $750

Closed on 12/2/2009