Auction 135, Lot 554

"Ancona Civitas Piceni Celeberrima, ad Mare Adriaticum Posita", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Ancona, Italy

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19 x 13.3 inches
48.3 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.

Very detailed bird's-eye plan that shows the fortified town of Ancona on the Adriatic coast. The harbor is filled with sailing ships and features a curved breakwater with a light house and watch tower. The Romanesque cathedral of San Ciriaco is well depicted on a rocky promontory at left. Along the bottom is a large key that locates over 80 buildings and important places. This plan was published in the first volume of the 'Civitates Orbis Terrarum', the first series of printed town plans. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussell p. 113.

Condition: B

Nice impression with full original coloring and original margins. Upper margin has some roughness and a short split at centerfold restricted to the blank margin. A small area of paper has lifted at either side of the centerfold affecting the decorative element of the cartouche, otherwise very good.

Estimate: $500 - $700


Closed on 2/16/2011