Auction 134, Lot 457

"Anverpia, nobile in Brabantia oppidum, parrim maritimum…", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Antwerp, Belgium

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

18.8 x 13.3 inches
47.8 x 33.8 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 the smaller of the two plans of Antwerp that were included in Braun & Hogenberg's great city atlas. The bird's-eye plan provides an excellent view of the citadel, city, docks and fortifications. The city was defended by a line of fortifications and a moat built by Charles V in 1545 and strengthened by Philip II in 1567. The citadel was built by the Duke of Alba and his statue is shown at its center. It was designed to withstand a siege even if the city wall was breached and is separated from the populated city by an expanse of open ground. A great many ships are shown in the Schelde and the city is surrounded by rich farmland. The chart is embellished with cartouches, two coats of arms and four costumed figures standing in the foreground. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel p. 73-75.

Condition: A

There is a worm hole on the lower centerfold, else fine.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 12/1/2010