Auction 139, Lot 395

Scarce Woodcut Version of Ortelius’ Map of Europe

"Europae", Belleforest, Francois

Subject: Europe

Period: 1575 (published)

Publication: Cosmographie Universelle de Tout le Monde

Color: Hand Color

18.5 x 13.8 inches
47 x 35.1 cm

This scarce map is a woodcut version of Ortelius’ map of Europe. The map extends to include Iceland and part of Greenland, and there is a tiny bit of Labrador intruding into the map at upper left. It also extends into western Asia and Northern Africa. The block cutter attempted to emulate the copper engraving with a stippled sea and Ortelius’ embellishments, but the execution in a woodblock is noticeably coarser. The map is modestly adorned with a sailing ship, compass rose, and a tent encampment in Russia. The personification of Europa being abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull graces the title cartouche. There was only one edition of Belleforest’s Cosmographie, thus the map is scarce and seldom available on the market.

References: Pastoureau, Belleforest #I-1, [2].

Condition: B+

Issued folding, now pressed with a few expertly repaired fold separations. There are two short printer's creases adjacent to centerfold and some faint spots.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,400


Closed on 2/15/2012